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Malaysia may seize RM48m from Jho Low's father: Edge report
[SINGAPORE] The Malaysian government took legal action on Thursday to freeze about RM48 million (S$16 million) in bank accounts belonging to the father of fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, the Edge newspaper reported.
The money in the seven of Low Hock Peng's accounts is believed to have originated from state investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the paper said, citing sources it didn't identify. The civil forfeiture action by the government was made under the country's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing act, which allows authorities to confiscate a property without a prosecution, the paper said.
Authorities have seized a mansion belonging to the Low family in connection to investigations into 1MDB, the New Straits Times reported earlier this month.
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 1MDB into personal accounts disguised to look like legitimate businesses, and kicking back some of those funds to officials.
Low - whose whereabouts aren't known - has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. 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.
A spokesman for Jho Low, in a statement issued through his legal team, said media reports on the alleged actions that Malaysia is "now seeking to freeze bank accounts purportedly linked to Mr Low" demonstrate a "strategy of harassment and political persecution" against perceived opponents of the Malaysian government. It shows Low cannot get a fair trial, according to the statement.