KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is seeking the arrest of a financier at the centre of a massive financial scandal that helped topple the corruption-plagued former regime, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Friday, reports AFP.
Mahathir’s comments came after local media reported that anti-corruption authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Jho Low, accused of being a key figure in the scandal surrounding sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.Low, a flamboyant playboy known for partying with Hollywood A-listers, is a close associate of toppled prime minister Najib Razak and allegedly conspired with him to loot the investment vehicle.
Public disgust over claims that the former leader and his cronies looted 1MDB was a major factor in the shock election loss last month of Najib’s long-ruling coalition.
Mahathir told a press conference that authorities were “trying to arrest Jho Low but he is not in the country”.
Low—full name Low Taek Jho—was being investigated for his involvement in 1MDB and “it is on those grounds that he’ll be arrested”, Mahathir said.
The financier’s current whereabouts are unclear. He was believed to have been sailing around Asia on a luxury yacht allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB cash before it was seized off the Indonesian holiday island of Bali in February.
The comments by 92-year-old Mahathir, in his second stint as premier after making a political comeback to oust Najib, were the latest sign that the net is closing on Low since the old regime was ousted from power.