SINGAPORE: A request made to the Hong Kong authorities in April 2016 for the arrest of Jho Low, the Malaysian businessman linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, was declined, the police said on Wednesday (Jul 11).
Jho Low, whose real name is Low Taek Jho, is wanted by the Malaysian authorities in an ongoing probe into the scandal-plagued 1MDB state fund. Low is believed to have fled Macau for an unknown destination. He was previously in Hong Kong.
The Singapore Police Force issued a statement on Wednesday to refute reports that claim Singapore had not made any requests to Hong Kong for the arrest and extradition of Low. Those reports are untrue, the police said.
"We issued a warrant of arrest for Low in April 2016, following investigations and charges against him for offences of money-laundering and dishonestly receiving stolen property," the police said.
Acting on information received, Singapore authorities sent a request to Hong Kong in the same month to arrest Low, the police added. However, Singapore's request was declined, police said.
Singapore authorities had also asked INTERPOL to publish a Red Notice against Low. A Red Notice refers to a request by a country to locate and provisionally arrest a person based on a valid national arrest warrant.
"To date, both the warrant of arrest and INTERPOL Red Notice against Low are in force. Low remains a key person of interest to Singapore in ongoing 1MDB-related investigations," police said.
Singapore is one of at least six countries, including Switzerland and the US, conducting probes into the alleged misappropriation of funds from the state fund that was founded by Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak. Najib has been charged with criminal breach of trust and abuse of power.
Malaysia has also sent a Red Notice for Low requesting for help from other countries including the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, China and Hong Kong.
Low's passport was cancelled by Malaysia's Immigration Department from Jun 15 under the orders of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. However, he is believed to be using a passport from another country.