Basseterre, St. Kitts, Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, (MyVueNews.com) – Reaction has come from the government in Basseterre after reports surfaced that a Malaysian man who once was granted citizenship for St. Kitts & Nevis had been indicted in the United States.
The man, Taek Jho Low, had successfully gained citizenship in the Caribbean nation in 2011, and was a holder of a St. Kitts & Nevis passport, but the current administration explained that he had never been to the country and his travel documents were deactivated in June, 2018.
On Friday, 2nd November, 2018, US authorities say they unsealed a three-count criminal indictment in federal court, in the Eastern District of New York, charging Low Taek Jho, also known as “Jho Low,” and Ng Chong Hwa, also known as “Roger Ng,” with conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s investment development fund.
They are also charged for conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials.
As part of the three-count indictment, Ng is also charged with conspiring to violate the FCPA by circumventing the internal accounting controls of a major New York-headquartered financial institution (Financial Institution), which underwrote more than $6 billion in bonds issued by 1MDB in three separate bond offerings in 2012 and 2013, while Ng was employed at the Financial Institution as a managing director.
Ng was arrested earlier today in Malaysia, pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant issued at the request of the United States.
However, Low remains at large.
The St. Kitts & Nevis Government said on Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, that it has come to their attention that the United States Department of Justice has indicted the Malaysian financier.
The Government added that, on June 8th, 2018, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced that Malaysia was seeking to arrest the financier, who was believed to be residing abroad.
A release from officials in St. Kitts & Nevis said, Prime Minister Timothy Harris’ administration took the decision, out of an abundance of caution, to deactivate Mr. Jho Low’s St. Kitts and Nevis passport through Interpol in June 2018.
The explained that the “Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) under Team Unity does, inter alia, a broad check of media and criminal databases, as well as sanctions lists, and makes a determination whether there are serious or pending legal, regulatory or political matters that would require consideration before any application is approved.”