Jasmine Loo: Jho Low arranged for Myanmar junta to give me fake passport

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Safe passage to Myanmar after she was declared wanted.

Former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in-house lawyer Jasmine Loo today said she believed fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low could have arranged for her safe passage to Myanmar after she was declared a wanted person.

The 50-year-old Loo said this while testifying as the 50th prosecution witness in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial over the misappropriation of 1MDB’s RM2.27 billion at the High Court here.

Under cross-examination, Loo was grilled by Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on her supposed arrest in Myanmar by the local authorities up until her eventual return to Malaysia last year.

Asked by Muhammad Shafee when she began negotiating her surrender to the authorities, Loo said she began sending representations to the Malaysian government through her legal counsel while she was in Yangon, Myanmar in 2021.

Asked to explain the predicament she faced which led to her eventual surrender, Loo said her Malaysian passport had not been stamped by Myanmarese immigration authorities when she entered the country back in 2019.

Prior to her entry, Loo said Low had reassured her to enter the country legally and that she would not face any trouble due to her wanted person status.

Instead upon her arrival, Loo said her passport was not stamped by border guards and that she was then escorted by personnel from Myanmar’s military junta to the capital city.

“He (Low) arranged for me. I was going to enter Myanmar legally and when I arrived, they did not stamp it and I was then handed to the Myanmar military. It was a situation that was posited on me.

“In Yangon, when I arrived, they gave me a fraudulent passport, those people who escorted me,” she said.

She also clarified she was not under any form of detention and was free to move about during her time in Yangon between 2019 and 2023.

As for the purpose of the fraudulent passport issued to her, Loo explained it was for her to continue staying in Myanmar under the guise of a Myanmar citizen.

Muhammad Shafee then described Loo’s close relationship with Low as akin to notorious American criminal duo Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow who were widely known for their criminal activities at the height of the Great Depression in the United States.

“He (Low) arranged for it. It is a symbiotic relationship,” Muhammad Shafee remarked.

“That is not true,” Loo replied.

“I am putting it to you that there is overwhelming evidence that you were a trusted or most trusted member of this gang of conmen headed by Low,” the lawyer added.

“I do not agree,” Loo replied again.

However, Loo testified she foresaw problems with the Myanmarese authorities due to the unstamped Malaysian passport (now expired) and fraudulently-issued Myanmarese passport if she were to leave the country.

“I did not want to be handed over to a foreign government at any point in time. I wanted security in my passage back (to Malaysia) and I did not want to use the other (fraudulent) passport,” Loo explained of her ensuing representations with the Malaysian government.

When asked further if she had negotiated for her not to be prosecuted, Loo denied but did concede she had hoped for the criminal charges levied against her to be dropped since it was natural for one in her position to hope for.

Najib’s 1MDB trial before trial judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes April 22. – MMO