Cyprus president wants Jho Low’s passport revoked

Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho. (File pic)

PETALING JAYA: Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades says authorities in the republic should revoke the passport of Low Taek Jho, amid reports that the fugitive businessman obtained the document in 2015 with the help of a well-known citizenship broker.

“Absolutely yes,” Anastasiades said in a report by The Cyprus Mail when asked to comment on the matter.

However, he said necessary probes must be carried out “so that due process is followed to justify any revocations”.

On Sunday, Greek-language newspaper Politis reported that Low, better known as Jho Low, had allegedly obtained a Cypriot passport.

He was also reported to have commissioned the construction of a mansion on the island said to be worth €5 million (RM23.2 million).

According to the report, Jho Low arrived in Cyprus on Sept 18, 2015 and obtained his passport through the council of ministers under an investment scheme two days later.

Quoting a Cyprus newspaper, Bloomberg news service said yesterday that Jho Low had obtained the passport following intervention on his behalf by Archbishop Chrysostomos II, head of the Orthodox Church on the eastern Mediterranean island.

Jho Low has been painted by prosecutors as the mastermind behind the 1MDB scandal. He recently struck a deal with the US Department of Justice to return almost US$1 billion of assets to resolve forfeiture cases linked to him.

His whereabouts remain unknown despite Interpol issuing a red notice against him last year. Malaysian police say they know his location but that he’s being protected by a certain party, with whom they are conducting talks to bring him back.

When asked about the dubious naturalisations granted to foreign investors which recently came to light, Anastasiades said some of the cases “speak for themselves”.

“And there may well be others [requiring review] which have not come out in public,” he was quoted as saying.