Jho Low, Nik Faisal ‘nowhere to be found’, Najib’s trial told

Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho fled the country in 2015, and former SRC CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil in May last year.

KUALA LUMPUR: The investigating officer in Najib Razak’s SRC International Sdn Bhd case told the High Court he tried to locate Low Taek Jho and former SRC chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil for investigation purposes.

Rosli Hussain of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said Low, commonly known as Jho Low, and Nik Faisal left Malaysia on May 29, 2015 and May 7 last year, respectively.

He said he had been looking for Low since 2015 and the businessman was nowhere to be found.

“My officers went to his house in Tanjung Bungah Park, Penang, but could not find him or his parents (Larry Low and Goh Gaik Ewe).

“Based on immigration records, Low left Malaysia four years ago via Subang Airport,” he said when asked by deputy public prosecutor Ishak Yusof whether he had made attempts to trace the fugitive businessman.

Rosli said his officers took Low’s statement in Abu Dhabi on Nov 27, 2015, and also recorded Nik Faisal’s statement in Jakarta on Oct 17 the same year, but did not place a bond on them.

“We thought they will come back to assist in further investigations. We went to Nik Faisal’s houses at Shah Alam and Bangsar (in May 2018) but could not find him.

“My officers also went to Nik Faisal’s office in Shah Alam but a staff there told us that he had left Malaysia and did not return,” he said.

Rosli said MACC issued a press alert on June 7 last year to seek public information on the whereabouts of Low and Nik Faisal.

However, he said he did not get any feedback from the public on their whereabouts.

“We also sought arrest warrants from the magistrate’s courts here on May 22, 2018 so that we could file applications to obtain Interpol’s red notice to track down Low and Nik Faisal,” he said.

He said MACC then informed Bukit Aman to distribute the red notices to several countries including Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and China.

Rosli also said the Malaysian consul-general in Hong Kong had written to the island’s immigration authorities on June 20 last year informing them that the government had revoked Low’s passport.

“It was revoked so that the Hong Kong authorities could arrest him for entering the island illegally,” he said.

He said MACC had also received intelligence information that Low had become a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis, an island in South America.

“We did not get any response from St Kitts and Nevis on Low’s whereabouts,” he said to a question about tracking down Low in the Caribbean island.

Asked by Ishak on the status of Nik Faisal’s passport, Rosli said it had been revoked on July 25 last year.

Besides that, he said MACC also sought Interpol’s help to track down four individuals believed to be linked to Low – Tan Kim Loong, former 1MDB general counsel Loo Ai Swan, former 1MDB executive director Tang Keng Chee and Geh Choh Heng.

He said the four left Malaysia between May 12, 2015 and May 8, 2018.

“Eric was the earliest person to leave in 2015,” Rosli said, referring to Tan.

The hearing continues tomorrow before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Najib is facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

He is also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.