Malaysiakini News

Report: Jho Low running his companies while on the run

Published:  |  Modified:

Fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho remains actively involved in the running of two of his Hong Kong registered companies despite being on the run, reported the South China Morning Post.

According to the report, Low signed two documents on July 9 with the city's companies registry to change the secretary for his private equity firm Jynwel Capital and nonprofit Jynwel Charitable Foundation from B & Mck Nominees to KV Pro Services in Mong Kok.

Low serves as CEO of Jynwel Capital, and director of  Jynwel Charitable Foundation.

It is not known whether he was in Hong Kong when the documents were signed, but the registry says that a signatory would not have to be physically present to sign the papers.

The SCMP report said a spokesperson for B & Mck – a subsidiary of US law firm Baker McKenzie – had confirmed it had ceased to work for Low’s companies but declined to state why.

"On June 26, Jho Low’s older brother, Taek Szen, who is also managing director of Jynwel Capital as described in its promotional video, signed documents applying to the Hong Kong Companies Registry to have its name changed to Quinton Investments and for the non-profit to be called Quantima Charitable Foundation.

"Jynwel Capital, which has a swanky office in Central, did not reply to the Post’s phone and email queries about  Low’s whereabouts.

"On its website on Sunday, there was no information on the company and only a message saying the page was 'undergoing major reconstruction'," said the report.

Subsidiary tried to shut down

A source familiar with a Shanghai-based business consultancy owned by Jynwel Capital said that the company, with a registered capital of US$3.3 million and three staff members in Malaysia and Hong Kong, had recently tried to shut down its operations.

The said firm is owned by Low's close business associate Seet Li Lin, said to be a Singaporean residing in Hong Kong.

Seet has been named as one of the key figures in the civil forfeiture suits by the US Department of Justice's lawsuits to recover funds purportedly misappropriated from beleaguered sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

He was the chief investment officer of Good Star, a Seychelles-registered company owned by Low, which reportedly received US$700 million of fraudulently diverted funds from 1MDB for a joint venture project with a Saudi Arabian oil company PetroSaudi.

Low is currently on the run, reportedly having fled to mainland China from Macau, either by car or by a private jet.

The fugitive businessperson had earlier fled to Macau as Malaysian police closed in on him in Hong Kong.

The DOJ had alleged that Low was involved in multiple instances of 1MDB funds being misappropriated, including having used funds to purchase a superyacht, jewellery for model Miranda Kerr, and also a US$27.3 million pink diamond necklace for the wife of “Malaysian Official 1” (MO1).

The DOJ claimed the pink diamond necklace was purchased using funds that “MO1” claimed to have returned to a royal Arab donor, but was instead channelled to accounts allegedly controlled by Low.

MO1 has been identified as former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, who has denied abusing public funds for personal gain.

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