Fugitive Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho is either no longer in Macau or has launched an 11th-hour asylum bid to use the world’s richest gaming hub as a bolt-hole.
Authorities in Hong Kong and Macau had been tight-lipped over claims Low, wanted in connection with the 1MDB corruption scandal engulfing former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, had slipped the net and was hiding out in the casino hub.
A security insider in the former Portuguese enclave told the South China Morning Post the potential for Low – widely known as Jho Low – to have seen Macau as a sanctuary from multiple attempts by governments around the region to secure his arrest and extradition “makes sense”.
The insider added the maximum period of 30 days he would legally be allowed to stay in the casino hub “has passed” and his only possible option would be to make an asylum request with immigration authorities.
“Rumours that he is or has been spending time in Macau have been circulating for more than a month now, and I have to say this makes sense because, while Malaysia has mutual legal assistance agreements with Hong Kong, they do not have these arrangements with Macau,” said the security insider.
“However, he cannot stay in Macau for more than 30 days, and if he was coming in and out the government would have kicked him out on his third entry to the city. Seven weeks is the maximum he can stay and considering the length of time suggestions that he is here have been doing the rounds, that time has passed.
“He must not be in Macau any more. Unless he has asked for asylum.”
Immigration authorities in the casino hub have yet to respond to questions about a possible asylum application being lodged by Low.