(Mar 24): Malaysian authorities have seized a mansion believed to belong to the family of Low Taek Jho in connection to investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the New Straits Times reported.
A notice of seizure dated Jan 17 was posted on the front wall of the house in Penang state, and addressed to a person who bears the same name as Low’s mother Goh Gaik Ewe, the paper reported. The notice was issued under Malaysia’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing law, the report said.
A spokesman for Low, in a statement issued by his attorney, said the property was built and completed about 20 years ago, and had never previously been of interest to the Malaysian government. The incident, and the way in which the notice was posted publicly, shows that Low cannot get a fair trial, according to the statement.
Low, known as Jho Low, has been painted by prosecutors including those in the US as the alleged mastermind of a scheme to siphon money from state fund 1MDB into personal accounts disguised to look like legitimate businesses, and kicking back some of those funds to officials.
The scandal has engulfed Goldman Sachs Group and former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, while Low -- whose whereabouts aren’t known -- has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
The Equanimity, a 300-foot ship formerly owned by the fugitive financier, was seized by the Malaysian government last year. The vessel was put up for sale in October after being seized as part of global attempts to recoup assets allegedly bought with money embezzled through the state fund. As of last month, authorities are still looking for a buyer for it.
Malaysia’s police said in January that they are seeking Low’s parents and an associate as they widen their search for evidence of possible wrongdoing at 1MDB. Authorities are calling for information on Low’s mother and his father, Low Hock Peng, the police said.
A representative from the Malaysian Attorney-General ’s office couldn’t be immediately reached for comment by phone and email.