Tom Wright, the co-author of Billion Dollar Whale, has speculated that fugitive businessperson Jho Low continues to “move freely” in mainland China because he has detailed knowledge of major infrastructure deals involving Chinese firms.
He also claimed that there were “people in China” who had a vested interest in keeping Low away from prosecutors to prevent details of these deals from coming to light.
“[…] he (Low) is able to move freely around China I think because he was involved in negotiating these infrastructure deals.
“He knows about infrastructure deals which the current Malaysian government has alleged were corrupt such as the East Coast Railway Line (ECRL) and (gas) pipeline deals.
“Perhaps there are people in China who don’t want him to come back to Malaysia and spill the beans about everything that has been happening regarding these deals,” Wright said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur this morning.
The ECRL and gas pipeline projects under the previous BN government had been heavily criticised as being “lopsided” contracts and in the case of the latter, for how money had been paid even though work had not been completed.
China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) is the main contractor for the ECRL while the two gas pipeline projects were previously awarded to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB).
The ECRL is currently under review while the gas pipeline contract has been cancelled.
Low, whose full name is Low Taek Jho, is believed to be in hiding in mainland China after previously fleeing from Macau and before that, Hong Kong. He is wanted by authorities in several countries pertaining to the 1MDB scandal.
The Putrajaya Sessions Court has issued a warrant of arrest for Low under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 with regards to his role in the 1MDB affair.
‘China told HK police not to arrest Low’
Wright, who is based in Hong Kong as a journalist for The Wall Street Journal said he “had visibility” on Low’s whereabouts in the Special Administrative Region until the middle of July this year when the latter allegedly fled to Macau.
“[…] after Singapore put out an (Interpol) red notice (on him) in 2016, the Hong Kong government did not do anything about it (even though Low was in Hong Kong). The Hong Kong police did not do anything.
“And that, I think, comes from the top, China. The China government is saying ‘Don’t arrest this guy’,” Wright further claimed.
Malaysiakini is unable to independently verify these claims. – Malaysiakini