KUALA LUMPUR: A total of RM48.9 million in the bank accounts of the father of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, was forfeited and made the possession of the Malaysian government by order of the High Court today.
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan granted the government’s application for forfeiture of the funds in accordance with section 56 (2) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
Deputy public prosecutor Aaron Abilash Paul Chelliah had earlier told the court that no third party had made an appearance in court to make a claim on the funds in seven bank accounts belonging to Jho Low’s father Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng.
The seven accounts comprising fixed deposit and current accounts were previously frozen as part of investigations into whether the monies were part of funds misappropriated from government investment arm 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB).
Larry Low, the respondent in the case, was not represented by a lawyer and also did not make an appearance in court today.
Chelliah informed the court that the notice to third parties with an interest in the seized funds, was issued on June 17 and it had stated that July 19 was the date they were required to attend the court hearing and make their claims.
In view of the absence of the third parties today, the prosecutor made the request for the funds to be forfeited and made the possession of the Malaysian government.
Chelliah said the funds comprised RM20.7 million, RM300,000, RM500,000 and RM20 million in Larry Low’s accounts at the KLCC branch of RHB bank which were frozen on Dec 11 last year, as well as RM6.6 million, RM462,618 and RM318,021 in his accounts at Gurney Plaza Maybank branch in Penang, frozen on Jan 31 this year.
The forfeited funds include the interest accrued.
The court was told by Chelliah that Larry Low had not been able to be traced by the authorities so far, with the former saying that at a previous hearing, the prosecution had asked the court to view the latter as a fugitive.
The prosecution had also previously informed the court through affidavit about the efforts undertaken to trace the respondent and these included the issuance of a warrant of arrest. – Bernama