Warrant issued for 1MDB suspect

Scandal-ridden Malaysian financier Jho Taek Low has instructed his lawyers to contact the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Macc), which is seeking his input into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) probe.
Malaysia has issued an arrest warrant for Low, saying it had sufficient evidence that he was among the main criminals in the sovereign wealth fund scandal.
He was the “best witness” to provide 1MDB evidence and “if he claims he is innocent, he should come back and help us with the probe”, said former minister Daim Zainuddin last month.
The probe is currently focused on SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB which has been linked to transfers of US$10.6 million into the bank account of ex-prime minister Najib Razak.
A total of US$700 million of 1MDB assets went to Najib’s personal bank accounts. Najib, who founded 1MDB in 2009, denies wrongdoing.
An arrest warrant had also been issued for Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, a director of SRC, and warrants for Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs Group banker, and 1MDB’s ex-CEO, Shahrol Halmi, were also being prepared, Bloomberg reported.
Low, who is close to Najib and his family, was named in lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice, which alleged US$4.5 billion was syphoned out of 1MDB.
Low did consultancy work for 1MDB and denies any wrongdoing. His location is not common knowledge, although the government claimed to know his whereabouts.
In February, Indonesia seized Low’s luxury yacht (pictured) off Bali after the US Department of Justice named the vessel in its investigation.
Goldman Sachs helped 1MDB raise US$6.5 billion in three bond sales in 2012 and 2013 purportedly to invest in energy schemes and real estate to boost Malaysia’s economy.
More than US$2.5 billion raised by the bonds was used to buy artwork, luxury properties in New York and London and to pay Las Vegas gambling debts, the US Justice Department said.
Two more CEOs of state-run institutions, Telekom Malaysia’s Mohammed Shazalli Ramly, who only joined the company last year, and Astro Malaysia Holdings’ Rohana Rozhan, are resigning.
Central bank governor Muhammad Ibrahim resigned on Wednesday, three years before the end of his term.
Tajuddin Atan, the stock exchange CEO, is also reportedly under threat with numerous other senior financial figures due to be replaced.


1MDB’s Equanimity. Picture credit: Flickr