Report: Low says DOJ's latest action 'inappropriate'

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Controversial businessman Jho Low, who has been caught again in the US Department of Justice's (DOJ) dragnet in its latest 1MDB-related civil lawsuit, has purportedly responded to fresh allegations against him.

"The US Department of Justice's latest move continues its inappropriate efforts to seize assets despite not having proven that any improprieties have occurred," says a Reuters news report, quoting a statement attributed to Low that it said was emailed through a representative.

Low also said in the statement that the DOJ's actions were "a further example of global overreach in pursuit of a deeply flawed case".

Reuters reported that the public relations firm that emailed Low's statement, Rasky Partners, could not be immediately reached by phone.

It was also reported that actor Leonardo DiCaprio has initiated proceedings to transfer the ownership of a Picasso painting to the US government, as revealed by DiCaprio's representative.

The Picasso painting, which was gifted to DiCaprio, had allegedly been bought with funds misappropriated from 1MDB.

The DOJ last night filed its third 1MDB-related civil lawsuit, now putting the allegedly misappropriated figure at US$4.5 billion, and seeking to seize US$1.7 billion in assets purportedly acquired using stolen 1MDB funds.

Among the list of items the department is seeking to seize are a yacht, diamond jewellery, a fitness chain and artworks.

The US$1 billion forfeiture sought in the first filing, on July 21 last year, as well as the second filing of US$100 million last week and another US$540 million in the latest filing, makes this the largest action brought by the DOJ's Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

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