Low Taek Jho, was recently found to obtain a Cypriot passport and a €5 million (approx. RM23 million) home on the island.
According to Politis, a Greek newspaper in Cyprus, the passport was obtained back in 2015 just before the 1MDB scandal rose to prominent. Low also held another foreign passport before from Saint Kitts and Nevis, which was terminated amid a global investigation on the Malaysian fugitive.
The report was carried out by Sarawak Report, who translated the greek report. According to the publication, the way the fugitive was able to obtain the passport was through the nation’s Cyprus Investment Program (KEP). It is a ‘citizenship for investment’ programme that started in 2013.
Under the program, the passport holder is required to deposit a minimum of €5 million in a local Cypriot bank for 3 years. Additionally, the holder is also required to purchase a home of at least €500 thousand on the island. This would explain the reported purchase of the €5 million villa made by Jho Low.
It was also reported that Jho Low arrived in Cyprus on 18th September 2015 and received his passport within 2 days through an express procedure. The villa on the other hand was purchased on 23rd September 2015 and was due to be completed within two months.
A background check was conducted on the Malaysian, prior to getting the passport, which raises several red flags. The red flags show that he was a politically exposed person, and involved in money laundering, as well as accused of fraud and regulation breaches, in addition to other risk factors. But despite all that the passport was granted anyway.
Unfortunately, the report does not include information on whether the fugitive returned to Cyprus or whether there were plans on seizing the property. However, Politis has stated they will continue with their investigation and hopes that this criminal will be finally brought to justice.
Source: Sarawak Report.