PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian authorities have sufficient information that Low Taek Jho, widely known as Jho Low, is among the main criminals involved in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, said Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Thursday (Jun 7).
As such, stern action will be taken to bring Low to justice although it will take some time before any arrest is made, he added.
"Some people ask me why Jho Low is not arrested because information has been gathered. I say let's delay a little, but there are quarters who don't want to wait, they hope stern action can be taken not within today, but ‘yesterday'.
"I did not say that I want to give priority to regulations and the law, but in cases that are clear, stern action must be taken immediately according to the penal code or law on corruption,” he said during a monthly assembly at the Home Ministry.
On Thursday, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) issued a notice asking for Low and a former director of SRC International to assist in investigations regarding SRC, a former unit of 1MDB.
SRC International has been linked to transfers of RM42 million (US$10.6 million) into the personal account of former prime minister Najib Razak.
Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, 47, was formerly the director of SRC while Low, 37, was identified as a "businessman".
"The MACC urges anyone who has information or knows both individuals to contact the investigating officer ... or the nearest MACC office," the commission said.
LOW ASKED LAWYERS TO CONTACT MACC
Low has instructed his lawyers to get in touch with the MACC, reporters reported.
"Through media reports dated June 7, 2018, Mr Low was made aware of MACC requesting his assistance," the Malaysian news portal reported, citing a statement from Low's spokesperson.
"Following this, Mr Low immediately instructed his lawyers to make contact with MACC today, with respect to offering such assistance."
In May, Malaysia's finance minister said he had asked the Inland Revenue Board to investigate Low and his family in relation to the scandal-hit state-fund 1MDB.
The money involved in the SRC probe is just a fraction of billions of dollars allegedly siphoned from 1MDB, a scandal that dogged the last three years of Najib's near-decade-long rule and one of the reasons why voters rejected him in a May election.
Najib has denied any wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal.
Low has been named along with Najib's stepson Riza Aziz in civil lawsuits filed by the United States Department of Justice, which alleged that about US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.
The department is seeking to seize about US$1.7 billion worth of 1MDB-linked assets, and is also pursuing a criminal probe.
The whereabouts of Low, who rose to notoriety by throwing parties with Hollywood stars, are unknown. He has previously denied any wrongdoing.
MACC officers have already taken statements from Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, in connection with the SRC International probe.