A report suggesting Jho Low was hiding among Hollywood elites in the US was false, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said today.
The inspector-general of police insisted there was no way Low could have entered the country without alerting authorities there.
“Logically, the border controls in America, whether land, air or sea, are very, very tight.
“I would not expect Jho Low to be so slick that he could sneak his way into the US,” he said.
If this were to happen, he added, it would be very embarrassing for the US authorities. “But I am sure he is not there,” he said.
The IGP added that his agency knew where Low was and was in talks to secure his return to Malaysia.
“He is being protected by the country, as I’ve mentioned before. I believe he is still there,” he said.
“We have to be patient. I am negotiating with the country, it is my aim to bring him back soon,” he added.
When asked to name this country, Hamid declined.
“Let us continue our negotiations, he can be anywhere, maybe in Kazakhstan, who knows?” he said in jest.
The IGP stressed that it was crucial to bring Low back to Malaysia to stand trial for his criminal charges related to 1MDB.
Low has repeatedly been said to be harbouring in China, from where he continues to run his business interests in Hong Kong.
Last week, entertainment portal Page Six reported that a person resembling Low was spotted partying in Los Angeles.
The site quoted unnamed sources who claimed to have seen Low attending a private dinner party at a producer’s house in the Hollywood Hills.
Popular event photographer Chance Yeh has often been mistaken for Low.
The report came days after Hamid had said the police knew Low’s whereabouts and were ramping up efforts to extradite him by December.
He revealed that the country providing protection to Low also had an extradition treaty with Malaysia.
He reportedly said police investigations found that Low was moving around freely and running his business without restrictions in that country.
In the past, news reports had speculated that Low was hiding in China.
“Low is sly, has a wicked agenda and is using money to buy influence,” Hamid said recently.