Reports suggest that fugitive financier Jho Low may be travelling on foreign passports while Malaysian authorities suspect he may be hiding in the Middle East.
Low Taek Jho, commonly known as Jho Low, is wanted by Malaysian authorities in connection with financial fraud.
The businessman, who obtained a Cypriot passport in 2015, is considered a key piece of the puzzle in a corruption case that implicates former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak with charges including money laundering and abuse of power.
In Cyprus, reports of Low’s Cypriot citizenship that was obtained on a fast track has brought into question the actions of government officials but also Archbishop Chrysostomos, who pushed for the Malaysian investor to get the passport.
Legal experts have warned that the state could get into long and protracted legal battles if passports are revoked without due process
Chrysostomos allegedly received two cheques from Low, one for €300,000 and another for €10,000. The archbishop has admitted that Low donated the three hundred grand to the Church, saying the money would fund students at a seminary school but he was open to returning the funds “if it is proven that it was not clean.”
Cyprus police have ruled out the possibility that Low might be hiding in Cyprus, while a Malaysian spokesperson was quoted in AFP as saying the investor on the run was seeking asylum somewhere in the Middle East.
"We understand that Mr. Low was offered asylum in August 2019 by a country that acts in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and European Convention on Human Rights," the spokesperson said.
In addition to his Cypriot passport, Low was also believed to be holding a passport from St. Kitts and Nevis. Foreign media reported that he was not thought to have ever entered the island state in the West Indies, but it was not clear whether the investor had additional passports from other countries.
The Republic of Cyprus is in the process of revoking passports of at least 26 foreign investors, including Low’s, while more approved cases will be scrutinized by a special committee.
Legal experts have warned that the state could get into long and protracted legal battles if passports are revoked without due process.