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Growing list of animals, IGP says 'chicken' Jho Low not in Cyprus
Published:  Nov 6, 2019 3:49 PM
Updated: 10:22 AM

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador has added another item to the growing list of animals used to describe Jho Low.

Clarifying that the fugitive financier is not in Cyprus, he reiterated that Low is still seeking refuge in the same country he was before where he is protected by certain powerful people.

“I have said before, it is impossible for him to leave the country he is hiding in with ease. He is still there hiding, like a chicken,” he was reported as stating.

However, Abdul Hamid did not name the country.

As for Cyprus, the police chief reasoned that it was unlikely Low would be on the Mediterranean island since he would stand out among the locals due to his Chinese Malaysian features.

“He would have been very recognisable,” he was quoted as saying by Malay Mail.

Previously, Abdul Hamid complained of how the authorities in the country where Low is hiding were not cooperative and provided bizarre excuses.

Among others, he said they claimed that the Penang-born businessperson now resembled a bear after undergoing plastic surgery and that he also walked like an ox.

Meanwhile, Abdul Hamid said Bukit Aman only found out about Low’s real estate purchases in Cyprus three to four weeks ago.

This was after the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Prevention (AMLA) division arrested several individuals.

“From these arrests, we have deconstructed and obtained information that Jho Low was attempting to purchase properties under a different alias in Cyprus,” he said.

Cyprus landed in the limelight after it was revealed that Low, who is accused of being the mastermind of the 1MDB scandal, had obtained a Cypriot passport in 2015.

Also implicated in the matter were the head of the Christian Orthodox church in Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II (below) and former interior minister Socrates Hasicos.

Chrysostomos denied he had a personal interest to recommend Low to be granted citizenship and claimed that he had written a letter regarding this to Hasicos on the request of a private developer.

It was reported that in order to fulfil the conditions set under the government-backed Cyprus Investment Plan, Low purchased an unfinished villa worth five million euros (RM23 million) in Aya Napia on Sept 23, 2015.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has since indicated that Low's passport should be revoked.

Semi-official channels

Abdul Hamid also responded to calls to use strategies by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency known for assassinations and kidnappings against targets deemed as enemies of the state, to capture Low.

Abdul Hamid stopped short of endorsing such strategies but said he was also employing semi-official channels.

“There are parties that say our efforts so far have not been enough or done so without considering more unorthodox methods, such as the ‘Mossad’ way.

"I don’t only use official channels (to conduct talks), but also semi-official ones," he was quoted as saying by The Star Online.

However, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today appeared to issue a contradictory statement as he stated that the government still did not know where Low is.

Previously, it was believed that Low was in China.

Last year, former Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairperson Daim Zainuddin said Low had attempted to contact him before his trip to China and offered to help negotiate with Beijing on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

He also revealed that Low's request for immunity in exchange to locate assets linked to 1MDB was rejected.

“I told him 'no'. If he wants to help, better come back first so that we can discuss," said Daim. 

“He claimed he is innocent, so if you are innocent you come back here. Why you are running away?" 

On Low's ability to continue evading Malaysian authorities, Daim claimed that part of the problem was moles in the civil service as well as enforcement agencies who feed information to members of the previous government.