NZ court allows Jho Low's family to change trustees

AUCKLAND: The High Court of New Zealand has granted permission for the Low family to change trustees, according to the court ruling on Friday.

The judgment was contained in a 14-page ruling by Justice Kit Toogood.

“I am satisfied that the replacement of the current trustees with trustees who are willing to ensure that proper legal steps are taken in the California proceedings is not only expedient but necessary to safeguard the trust assets” and “protect the interests of the beneficiaries,” he said in his ruling, according to Bloomberg. 

He added the New Zealand case “does not concern the merits of the allegations made by the U.S. Government.”

To recap, relatives of the controversial Low Taek Jho, who is also known as Jho Low, allegedly linked to the 1Malaysia Bhd (1MDB) scandal, have requested to oppose the seizure of assets worth US$230mil alleged by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) to be proceeds of crime.

According to the judgement, Low Hock Peng and Goh Gaik Ewe, the first-named plaintiff and second-named plaintiff, are the parents of the third-named, fourth-named and fifth-named plaintiffs Low May Lin, Low Taek Szen and Low Taek Jho. All plaintiffs support this proceeding. It is convenient to refer to them collectively as “the Low family”. 

As for the defendants, they are part of the Rothschild banking group which provides professional trustee services to certain trusts of which the members of the Low family are the ultimate beneficiaries. 

The New Zealand Herald  earlier reported the filings claim a number of New Zealand trusts, with names as varied as Elephant Sun and Stars Tower, were the direct owners of assets including a Bombardier private jet, a hotel in Beverly Hills and a US$55mil Los Angeles mansion formerly owned by Fantasy Island actor Ricardo Montalban.

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