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Financier Jho Low denies wrongdoing claims linked to 1MDB

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Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho said attempts to link him to recent guilty pleas in 1Malaysia Development Bhd-related probes are based on "unfounded assumptions," after Singapore prosecutors said he used money traceable to the state fund for his own benefit.

[SINGAPORE] Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho said attempts to link him to recent guilty pleas in 1Malaysia Development Bhd-related probes are based on "unfounded assumptions," after Singapore prosecutors said he used money traceable to the state fund for his own benefit.

Low is the central figure in probes linked to 1MDB and received "huge" sums of money, the prosecutors said in court filings made public on Wednesday. About US$1 billion that 1MDB was purported to invest in a joint venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd was diverted to a bank account beneficially owned by Low, according to the filings.

"It has been clearly stated by the Malaysian authorities that there has been no evidence of any misappropriation of 1MDB funds," Low's representative said in an emailed statement. "No wrongdoing has been proved in any jurisdiction relating to the alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds, and this development in Singapore does not change that."

Singapore's investigations into 1MDB-related activities have so far led to five convictions and with four people sentenced to jail. The city-state is the only country so far to have criminally charged bankers.

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The probes are part of a worldwide effort to track how much of the US$6 billion that 1MDB raised for development projects was used to pay for luxury real estate, art, lavish parties and more. The US and Switzerland are among the countries also investigating the roles played by banks and individuals. Low has been characterised by US investigators as the controller of a plan to drain billions from the Malaysian fund.

An email sent to 1MDB, which has consistently denied any wrongdoing, wasn't immediately answered. Low has previously described his role with the fund as informal consulting that didn't break any laws.

"The main victim in this case is 1MDB," prosecutor Nathaniel Khng said in Singapore state court Wednesday. "Jho Low has gone missing from the public eye."

Low is confident that any impartial party presented with the complete facts will see that the allegations are "flawed, biased and create an inaccurate picture," his representative said.

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