SINGAPORE (July 11): Singapore had asked Hong Kong authorities back in April 2016 to help arrest alleged 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) mastermind Low Taek Jho.

But that request was not acceded to, according to a Singapore Police Force (SPF) spokesperson on Wednesday.

Arrest warrants for Jho Low and his accomplice Eric Tan Kim Loong were issued by Singapore in April and May 2016 respectively.

Acting on information received, Singapore had requested the Hong Kong Department of Justice for assistance to provisionally arrest Low under the Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Singapore and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China for the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders.

“Singapore’s request was declined by the Hong Kong authorities,” says the SPF spokesperson in an e-mail response, without elaborating further.

According to a July 7 report by the South China Morning Post, authorities in Hong Kong and Macau had been tight-lipped over claims Low had fled the territory and was ­hiding out in the former Portuguese enclave.

This was because both Singapore and Malaysia did not put in a request to arrest Low, the report said, citing unnamed sources.

But according to The Star, Inspector-General Mohamad Fuzi Harun of the Royal Malaysia Police on July 8 had sent an official request to their counterparts in Macau for a team to be sent in to arrest Low.

However, on July 9, police HQ at Bukit Aman received an e-mail from Macau authorities, saying Low had left Macau for Mainland China.

“Singapore is aware of news reports that there was no request made by Singapore, to Hong Kong, for the arrest and extradition of Low Taek Jho. These reports are untrue,” says SPF.

“To date, both the warrant of arrest and Interpol Red Notice against Low are in force. Low remains a key person of interest to Singapore in ongoing 1MDB-related investigations,” SPF adds.

Some US$4.5 billion ($6.1 billion) from Malaysia’s state fund had allegedly been misused by multiple individuals, including public officials and their associates and Low is wanted by Singapore for offences of money-laundering and dishonestly receiving stolen property.