In Netflix’s ‘Man on the Run,’ the filmmakers delve deep into the intricacies of the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) scandal that rocked the whole country of Malaysia and was discovered to have reached several foreign countries, including the United States. One of the most prominent names involved in the whole case is that of Low Taek Jho, AKA Jho Low. His almost undeniable role in the multi-billion dollar scam has left the world reeling, with many wondering just where he is these days.
Who is Jho Low?
Jho Low was born on November 4, 1981, in Penang, Malaysia, to a very wealthy family. His grandfather hails from China and ended up starting a business in Thailand’s iron and liquor industry, which significantly boosted the family’s overall wealth. This meant that Jho was able to attend some of the most prestigious educational institutes around the country and world, though it was his time at the Harrow School in London, England, that helped him form some highly valuable connections.
Harrow School is well-known across the world for its well-known alumni, including people like Winston Churchill. For Jho, the school became the place where he got to form connections with Middle-Eastern elite like Yousef Al Otaiba. He also came in contact with Riza Aziz, stepson to Najib Razak. It was when the latter became the Prime Minister of Malaysia that he founded 1MDB in 2009. The alleged purpose of the establishment was to invite foreign investments in the country.
1MDB was completely under the supervision of Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance. With Razak as the Minister of Finance, the Chairman of 1MDB, and the Prime Minister of the country, it was seemingly impossible for anyone to keep in check just how Razak was spending the money. While Jho himself did not have any official position with 1MDB, he allegedly served as the middleman between the institute and the Prime Minister. This meant that whenever Jho brought any fund-withdrawing requests to 1MDB, it was almost accepted that the request was directly from Razak.
However, things were not how they seemed. Jho himself was living a lavish life and was throwing parties for celebrities from Hollywood and other important Western industries. However, it is believed that he was far from the only one who diverted funds from 1MDB to finance their lives. Many officials from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia are believed to have been in on the plan that diverted over $4.5 billion from the sovereign fund to those who wanted to line their pockets.
One of the biggest ventures established using the allegedly stolen money was apparently Red Granite Pictures, which was behind movies like ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’ However, as time went by, opposition leaders and investigative journalists could not help but feel that something was highly wrong in regard to the funds that were meant to be a part of 1MDB. This led to a massive political upheaval in Malaysia, while several foreign agencies, including the FBI, also looked into the workings of Jho Low.
In 2016, Interpol ended up issuing an arrest warrant against Jho after a request made by Singapore. This was followed by the issue of an arrest warrant against Jho by Malaysia’s new Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad. Jho’s actions involving the money of 1MDB have been termed by Razak as a venture that the former Prime Minister was not a part of, though many disagree with the assessment, stating that he had to have known about just how the funds were being diverted.
Jho Low is Now Allegedly in China
Following the arrest warrants issued against him, Jho Low remains on the down low. Now a fugitive from Malaysia and several countries across the world, he remains on the run, though there have been claims that the alleged scammer might be in China. While there is a video that shows that Jho might have been visiting Disneyland Shanghai on December 24, 2019, China has denied these claims, stating that they are not harboring Jho.
Other reasons why many believe that Jho may be in China include recent reports that claim that the Malaysian man may be living in a house in Macau that belongs to someone from the upper circles of the Chinese Communist Party. There are also claims that state that Jho is involved in various businesses in Hong Kong. Malaysia’s current government remains eager to have Jho extradited to their country in order to have him answer for his part in 1MDB, a quest he is being supported in by many other countries and agencies.
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