KUALALUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian police are seeking the parents of a financier wanted in connection with a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), in the hope that they can help with the investigation.
Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, is facing criminal charges in Malaysia and the United States for his role in the suspected theft of about $4.5 billion from 1MDB, a state fund founded by a former prime minister, Najib Razak.
Police are seeking information on the whereabouts of Low’s father, Low Hock Peng, his mother, Goh Gaik Ewe, and two other people to assist in the 1MDB investigation, Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement on Friday.
Authorities filed money laundering charges against both the son and the father in August 2018.
Low Taek Jho has consistently denied wrongdoing.
Neither his nor his parents’ whereabouts are known.
A spokesman for Low did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The two other people sought by police are a Singaporean woman, Shabnam Naraindas Daswani, also known as Natasha Mirpuri, and Tan Kim Loong, a Malaysian associate of Low’s.
They could not be reached for comment.
Tan was previously charged with Low for money laundering in Malaysia, and has been named as a key figure in U.S. civil lawsuits seeking to seize more than $1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds.
Authorities in at least six countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore, are investigating suspected money-laundering and graft in connection with 1MDB.
Najib, who set up the fund in 2009, was ousted in a general election in May last year.
The new prime minister, veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad, has reopened investigations into 1MDB and Najib’s involvement at the fund.
Najib is facing nearly 40 criminal charges related to losses at 1MDB and other government entities. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Robert Birsel)