Malaysian fugitive Jho Low, four others hit with new 1MDB charges

Police in Malaysia have filed new criminal charges and issued arrest warrants for fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and four others wanted in connection with the billion-dollar 1MDB sovereign wealth fund scandal, according to officials.

Low, also known as Jho Low, has been identified by Malaysian and US investigators as a central figure in the alleged theft of about $4.5bn from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The financier, whose whereabouts are unknown, has denied any wrongdoing through a spokesperson.

Last month, prosecutors in the United States charged Low and two former Goldman Sachs bankers with conspiracy to launder 1MDB money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

On Tuesday, Low and four others were charged with 13 money laundering and criminal breach of trust offences involving losses of 1MDB funds totaling $1.17bn or 4.2 billion ringgit, based on foreign exchange rates at the time of the offence, the Malaysian police chief said in a statement on Wednesday.