KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian police filed fresh criminal charges and issued arrest warrants for fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and four others wanted in connection with a multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, officials said on Wednesday.
Low, popularly known as Jho Low, has been identified by Malaysian and U.S. investigators as a central figure in the alleged theft of about $4.5 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Low, whose whereabouts is not known, has denied any wrongdoing through a spokesman.
Last month, U.S. prosecutors charged Low and two former Goldman Sachs bankers with conspiracy to launder 1MDB money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
On Tuesday, Low and four others were charged with 13 money laundering and criminal breach of trust offences involving losses of 1MDB funds totaling $1.17 billion or 4.2 billion ringgit, based on foreign exchange rates at the time of the offense, Malaysian police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement.
Arrest warrants were issued against the five who have left Malaysia, Mohamad Fuzi said.
“If they are found to be in any other country, police and the Attorney General’s Chambers will take action to request their extradition so that they can be brought back to Malaysia to face charges in court,” he said.