Malaysia is trying to return a private jet worth $35 million dollars, owned by financier low-Tech Joe, as part of the investigation into the multi-billion scandal in the state Fund 1MDB, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said.
Lowe Tech Joe, also known as Joe Lowe, is one of the suspects in the case of theft from the state investment Fund 1MDB, which has already arrested the founder and the chief Executive of the Fund, former Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak. Lowe bought a Bombardier Global 5000 jet for $ 35.4 million in 2010, using funds allegedly taken from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Reuters reports.
Authorities in Malaysia and the United States are investigating how billions of dollars have gone missing from the 1MDB Fund. According to the us Department of justice,more than $ 4.5 billion was appropriated from the Fund, and part of the money was used to buy a private plane, superyacht, Picasso’s paintings, jewelry and real estate.
Last week, the $ 250 million superyacht featured in the U.S. justice Department investigation, which Joe low bought, was transferred to Indonesia in Malaysia.
When Prime Minister Mahathir was asked whether Malaysia would also try to take over the Bombardier aircraft, he said, “Yes, I think so. We have to get him back.”
According to some media reports, the aircraft was built last year in Singapore.
The Jet Aviation service reported that the Bombardier Global 5000, with the same registration number as the one identified by the us Department of justice, was at its facility at the Seletar airport in Singapore.
Jet Aviation spokeswoman said the firm ” works closely with local authorities.” She refused to say how the plane ended up at the firm’s disposal.
In Singapore, one of the six countries that are investigating the 1MDB case, said that in 2016, the country’s authorities froze about $ 87.24 million of funds and property in the city-state owned by Lowe and his closest relatives.
Malaysian authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Lowe, whose whereabouts are unknown. The businessman himself had previously denied any offense.
The Lowe representative said that the transfer of the Equanimity yacht to Malaysia was illegal and in violation of the court orders of Indonesia and the United States. He also stressed that if Mahathir’s intention to hijack a private jet was “something like his illegal seizure of Equanimity,” then the Prime Minister would ignore the ongoing trials.
In civil lawsuits filed in the United States, the U.S. justice Department seeks to seize assets that were allegedly bought with the money of 1 MDB.