Malaysian authorities have received information about the accounts of a Hong Kong-based financier in their probe into allegations of misallocation of money from a controversial state investment fund.
The fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB), is overseen by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
More than US$500 million in accounts belonging to Low Taek Jho — also known as Jho Low, a Malaysian in his early 30s who helped set up 1MDB — were the subject of correspondence in March between Singapore’s police and Malaysia’s central bank, which had asked Singapore for help investigating the fund, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing documents related to the probe.
Najib, who is chairman of 1MDB’s board of advisers, launched the fund in 2009 to boost economic growth.
It is now facing multiple government investigations and struggling under US$11 billion of debt.
Low has denied wrongdoing and has said he never had a formal position at 1MDB but was an occasional adviser.
A person at Low’s Hong-Kong based investment advisory company, Jynwel Capital Ltd., referred questions to international public relations firm Edelman. A spokesman for Low at Edelman declined to comment.
The government investigation into 1MDB has traced nearly US$700 million of deposits into what investigators believe to be Najib’s personal accounts, the newspaper reported last week. The original source of the money is unclear.
The prime minister has denied wrongdoing.
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