WSJ Reporters Want Allegedly Cash-Rich Jho Low Jailed

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Wall Street Journal (WSJ) journalists called today for Jho Low, who they claim is still flush with allegedly stolen 1MDB money,  to be jailed.

News portal Malaysiakini reported Tom Wright, one of the co-authors of the book Billion Dollar Whale chronicling the scandal, as claiming that Beijing was protecting Low in China.

“The story hasn’t been out yet and Jho Low is still in China, protected by Beijing. Knowing something about powerful Chinese people…but eventually, hopefully, he will go to jail,” Wright was quoted as saying at the New York launch of the book.

He did not provide proof for his claim in the report.

Wright also reportedly talked about the differences that he had with his co-author, Bradley Hope, during the writing process.

“I was trying to portray Jho Low as this guy who is ‘fat’, too much. I didn’t like him and Bradley said, ‘This guy is pretty cool’,” Wright was quoted as saying.

According to Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World, Low stole at least US$5 billion (RM20.7 billion) from Malaysian investment firm 1MDB.

A description of the book on Amazon cited federal agents who investigated Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme as saying that the 1MDB scandal would be the “textbook case of financial fraud in the modern age”.

Wright and Hope also told US network CNBC’s programme, Squawk Box, that Low was living in luxury in China and had used his money to try to stop the sale of Billion Dollar Whale.

“Obviously, he now could not use the US financial system because there is a DoJ probe into this whole matter,” said Wright, referring to the US Department of Justice that launched a kleptocracy probe into the matter.

“But he is still able to use his money, including hiring big law firms like Schillings in the United Kingdom who have been sending legal letters around the world,” he added, referring to attempts to stop the sale of the book.

They then described Low as a man without an “end game”.

“From the earliest days he is being overextended and that is why you saw the size of the thefts got bigger and bigger,” said Hope.

“At one point people are asking for the money back in Malaysia where he’s from, people have worked out there is a fraud and he gets a big loan from Deutsche Bank and instead of using it to fill the hole, he goes and buys a US$250 million yacht called Equanimity. It’s crazy,” Wright added.

Billion Dollar Whale currently retails at major bookstores in Malaysia. Wright is set to come to Kuala Lumpur on September 25 for the Malaysian launch.

The book is currently being translated into Malay as well, Wright said. – Malay Mail