Probe finds USD529 million in Jho Low’s accountsWSJ

PETALING JAYA: The USD529 million sitting in the bank account of Penang-born businessman Jho Low was the subject of correspondence between Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and Singapore police, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported today.

The correspondence was part of a probe into allegations of corruption involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad, (1MDB), which Jho Low incidentally helped set up, and Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is accused of using some USD700 million of the company’s funds after it was found to have been channelled into his personal bank accounts.

Details of Low’s account was furnished in a letter to BNM on March 13.

Denying any wrongdoing, Low has also maintained that his only role in 1MDB was as an “occasional adviser”, the WSJ said.

Low is somewhat notorious in the US for snapping up expensive real estate and partying with socialites, the more notable being Paris Hilton apart from being close buddies with Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz, who produced the Hollywood movie The Wolf of Wall Street.

The letter contains details of the deposits into the business account from the Swiss bank account of a company called Good Star Ltd, although there was no indication as to how the latter got hold of the money or what happened to it eventually. The police’s Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (STRO) also confirmed that the business account was closed in February last year.

“If proceeds of crime have been transferred to Singapore, we would like to consider whether an offence has been committed in Singapore,” Chua Jia Leng, head of the Singapore police’s (STRO) was quoted by WSJ, as writing to Bank Negara.

Low’s alleged Singapore account was at BSI, the same bank that 1MDB had said earlier this year, held USD1.1 billion of their funds as well. WSJ did say however that it was unclear at this point if the two bank accounts were linked in any way.

It has been widely speculated that Najib used funds of 1MDB-linked companies to finance his election campaign in 2013, with WSJ breaking the news last month.

While Najib has denied doing any such thing, Jho Low himself has been known to have played a role in the campaign by organising a free concert involving US musicians Busta Rhymes and Ludacris just before the general election. The concert was held in Penang, that is governed by the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat.

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