Singapore authorities had previously requested assistance from Interpol in 2016 to locate and apprehend Malaysian businessman Low Teck Jho – better known as Jho Low – as part of its investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
A joint statement by Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Friday (Jun 8) said that Singapore law enforcement and regulatory agencies have been “actively investigating possible money-laundering and other offences pertaining to 1MDB-related fund flows, starting in March 2015”.
The statement came after officers from the AGC, CAD and MAS met with the Malaysian 1MDB Taskforce, headed by Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, in Singapore the day before. The meeting followed an earlier meeting with the taskforce last week in Kuala Lumpur.
“It was a productive meeting, with a fruitful exchange of information. Singapore has been providing Malaysia information on 1MDB-related fund flows, since March 2015, and this was acknowledged by Malaysia. Both sides agreed to continue this cooperation,” the statement said.
In the wake of the 2015 investigations, the Singapore authorities issued arrest warrants in April and May 2016 for Jho Low and his associate Tan Kim Loong, who are suspected of committing offences in Singapore but could not be located in the country.
The authorities subsequently asked Interpol to publish “red notices” in October 2016 for the two suspects.
According to Interpol, a red notice is a request by a member country to locate and provisionally arrest a person based on a valid national arrest warrant.
“All members of Interpol, including Malaysia, would have been aware of the Red Notices when they were published,” said the statement.
The Singapore authorities said the country does not tolerate the use of its financial system as a refuge or conduit for illicit funds.
They added that strong action had been taken against financial institutions and individuals who have broken laws within Singapore’s jurisdiction in connection with 1MDB-related fund flows.
These include criminal charges and convictions, as well as hefty financial penalties.