Jho Low and his family were allowed to slip out of Hong Kong to Macau last week because neither Malaysia nor Singapore formally requested his arrest, the South China Morning Post reported.
He and his entourage were hiding in plain sight in Admiralty, on Hong Kong Island, occupying multiple rooms at the upscale Pacific Place Apartments before leaving for the casino hub, a source with knowledge of Low’s recent movements said.
And as of Saturday, 37-year-old Low was still in Macau, the source revealed.
The baby-faced playboy – who owned homes in New York and Los Angeles, partied with some of the world’s biggest film stars and once flew eight hostesses from a New York bar to a party in Kuala Lumpur – is wanted for questioning in connection with one of the world’s biggest frauds, revolving around 1MDB, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund.
Low has reportedly been on the move since before Malaysia’s general election in May. He waited out the result of the vote in Phuket, Thailand, where he arrived having sailed around Asia on a luxury yacht allegedly bought with stolen cash.
The yacht has been seized by police investigating the 1MDB scandal.
On Friday, the Post reported that if Low was in Macau, he could be applying for asylum. On Saturday night it was understood that the businessman and his family were still in the city, seemingly unfazed by an Interpol red notice requesting his arrest.
“Jho was in Hong Kong for a couple months,” the source said. “He was staying at an apartment in Pacific Place with his family and his entourage. They moved out of Pacific Place and travelled to Macau a few days ago, despite Low being the subject of an Interpol red notice.”
The reason Hong Kong did nothing to stop Low – despite the red notice – was because there was no formal request for his arrest from Malaysia or Singapore, it was understood.
“Hong Kong police have no obligation to arrest, even if he is on an Interpol red notice,” the source said. “The only obligation is if there is an accompanying formal request from the originating country, which there wasn’t.”
The Malaysian government, when it was led by Najib Razak, widely believed to be friends with Low, had insisted nothing was wrong with 1MDB, even as the United States’ Department of Justice found it had laundered US$4.5 billion. The new government of Mahathir Mohamed – who beat Najib in the election – earlier this week slapped corruption charges on the former leader.
Low has always denied being involved in any corruption. But Malaysian police and anti-corruption officials consider him a key figure in the fraud and are trying to track him down.
The source said Low had rented several apartments on the 32nd, 34th and 36th floors of Pacific Place Apartments. – SCMP
Jul 4, Jho Low’s Passport Cancelled