World

1MDB scandal: Hunt for Jho Low shifts to West Indies

PETALING JAYA: The hunt for businessman Low Taek Jho, wanted in a corruption probe in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund, is shifting to the West Indies.

The Star yesterday reported a source as saying that Low, better known as Jho Low, could have fled to the Caribbean islands of St Kitts and Nevis, where he holds citizenship.

The islands have been dubbed as one of the world's millionaire playgrounds.

"The authorities believe he is likely to head there to seek refuge as he has nowhere else to run to," said the source.

"The doors for him to hide in many other countries across South-east Asia, China and the Middle East have been shut. Returning to St Kitts and Nevis, where he is a citizen, would be the best next option. From there, he can hop to the many surrounding island countries, where law enforcement is said to be lax."

Malaysia does not have an extradition treaty with many of these island nations.

Last month, Low's Malaysian passport was cancelled by the Immigration Department to restrict his movements as the authorities tried to track him down. With a St Kitts and Nevis passport, a citizen can travel without a visa to over 140 countries, including Canada, Britain and Europe.

The source said the citizenship and passport can be obtained through a US$250,000 (S$340,490) cash donation to the country's Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation or by buying real estate worth at least US$400,000.

The source said Low opted for the second option. - THE STAR/ANN

WORLD