Malaysian police have said they know the location of fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and hope to bring him back by the end of the year to help in investigations into a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB.
Investigators have named Low, better known as Jho Low, as a key figure in the scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which US and Malaysian prosecutors say was used to siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars.
“I will try my best to expedite [the process]… hopefully we can get him back by the end of the year,” police chief Abdul Hamid Bador said on Wednesday at a forum broadcast live on television.
Representatives for Jho Low did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Najib, who was ousted in an election last year amid widespread anger over the scandal, has been charged with 42 criminal offences related to losses at 1MDB and other state entities.
Both Jho Low and Najib have consistently denied wrongdoing.
Abdul Hamid said he believes Jho Low “has the protection of someone” who provided him a safe haven in a certain country.
The police chief did not name the country, but confirmed that it has signed an extradition treaty with Malaysia.
“Our investigations found that he is free to move around, and able to run his businesses without any restrictions,” Abdul Hamid said.
Asked if Malaysian authorities will be able to secure Jho Low’s return, he said: “I am confident”.
Malaysian and US investigators say that at least $4.5bn was misappropriated from 1MDB by Jho Low and other high-level officials of the fund and their associates.