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HK declined Singapore's request to help nab Jho Low: Singapore police

SINGAPORE has rubbished news reports that it has made no request for the arrest and extradition of Malaysian tycoon Jho Low, the man at the centre of the mammoth 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, to the Hong Kong authorities.

“These reports are untrue,” said a spokesman from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in response to queries by The Business Times.

The spokesman added that an arrest warrant for Low, deemed a “key person of interest” to Singapore in the ongoing 1MDB-related investigations, was issued in April 2016, following investigations and charges against him for offences of money laundering and dishonestly receiving stolen property.

This would be the first time Singapore authorities are revealing the nature of the offences they plan to charge Low with following a joint statement issued on June 8 that the authorities issued arrest warrants for Mr Low and his close associate Eric Tan Kim Loong in April/May 2016 followed by a request to Interpol to publish Red Notices on the individuals in October of the same year.

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The Singapore police spokesman said that in April 2016, “acting on information received”, Singapore had sent a request to Hong Kong’s Justice Department for assistance to provisionally arrest Low under an agreement between the two governments for the “Surrender of Fugitive Offenders”.

“Singapore’s request was declined by the Hong Kong authorities,” said the spokesman.

Low's passport was cancelled by Malaysia's Immigration Department from June 15 under the orders of the country’s anti-graft agency and he is believed to be using multiple passports, according to news reports. The South China Morning Post reported last weekend, citing sources, that fugitive Low was allowed to slip out of Hong Kong to Macau over a week ago because neither Malaysia nor Singapore had formally requested his arrest. So far, Hong Kong authorities have made no official remark on the matter.