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Malaysia files criminal charges against Jho Low and father: report
[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysian police on Friday filed the first set of criminal charges against Low Taek Jho and his father over money allegedly stolen from state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), reported The Edge.
Citing legal sources, the business publication reported that the charges against Low, also known as Jho Low, and his father Larry Low Hock Peng, relate to money-laundering of US$457 million (S$628 million) in cash transfers between 2013 and 2014.
The court papers were registered with the Sessions Court in Putrajaya Friday morning and warrants of arrest for both men were also sought.
According to The Edge, the criminal charges pave the way for Malaysian authorities to seek an extradition of the two men, who are believed to be in China or Abu Dhabi.
"With the registration of the charges, the next step is to seek an extradition," a legal source told the weekly.
Low, an associate of former prime minister Najib Razak and his family, has denied any wrongdoing relating to the corruption scandal at 1MDB, saying he was an informal consultant at the fund.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has, in its civil suits to seize luxury assets bought with stolen 1MDB funds, alleged that Low was the mastermind behind the misappropriation of over US$4.5 billion from 1MDB between 2009 and 2014.
According to court documents sighted by The Edge, Low was slapped with eight charges under section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act, 2001 (Act 613). Three of the charges were for receiving money and the remaining five were for transferring the cash.
His father Larry faces one charge of transferring US$56 million to his son.
The total sum involved is around US$261 million for receipt of money and US$196 million for transferring of the cash - all done through separate accounts at BSI Bank in Singapore from December 2013 to June 2014.
The money was believed to have been used to purchase the Equanimity, the US$250 million superyacht seized by Malaysian authorities on Aug 6.
Singapore authorities have jailed a few bankers and closed two banks - BSI and Falcon - which had Low as their client. Authorities in Switzerland have also acted against the two banks and are probing several individuals they said were involved in the fraud.
During the trial of ex-BSI banker Yeo Jiawei, Singapore prosecutors produced evidence of how 1MDB money was laundered through what they called "layering", with cash transferred from accounts of Low to his father and then back to Low.
According to US and Singapore investigators, the total sum of money transferred between father and son via their accounts at BSI Singapore was around US$335 million.
THE STRAITS TIMES