KUALA LUMPUR: While it has been said that fugitive Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho is holding a Cyprus passport, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador does not believe that Jho Low is hiding in that country.
“Why go there? He looks so different (from the populace).
“He’s still (out) there hiding like a chicken, ” he said at a press conference at the Royal Malaysia Police College yesterday.
He was commenting on the possibility of the fugitive businessman hiding in the country in which he had allegedly obtained a passport from a controversial cash-for-citizenship programme.
It was reported by Cypriot daily Politis that Low had received the support of Archbishop Chrysos-tomos II of Cyprus in his attempt to obtain a passport and that he was granted the passport despite the fact that a background check on him had raised several red flags.
Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades had since vowed to revoke such passports.
When pressed, Abdul Hamid refused to reveal Jho Low’s current location.
He, however, expressed his disappointment on a lack of assistance from the said country to Malaysian authorities.
“I had said before that there is a limit to my patience. All these while we have given our assistance to the country in question in all things about policing. But I’m very disappointed that my requests are not entertained.
“This is not an issue which pertains to the strategic importance or the politics of a country. It is a criminal case where a person had robbed the country’s coffers, ” said the IGP.
On his recent comments about Jho Low looking like a bear, he clarified that he was responding to an excuse given.
“What I meant was that the excuse of it being hard to track him down because he had plastic surgery. I cannot accept that because the world is so high-tech now and there are tools at hand to trace a person.
“So if the excuse is that he underwent plastic surgery, I say: Is there a doctor out there that is that skilful until they can change his face to resemble a bear.
“I didn’t say that he had already changed his face to look like a bear, ” he said.
Abdul Hamid also said that the police had made arrests, which led to new information.
“From there, we have successfully uncovered information that Jho Low is currently trying to buy properties in Cyprus by using another name, ” he said, adding that Low still has control over “billions”.
Earlier, Abdul Hamid, together with Bukit Aman CCID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Zakaria Ahmad, launched a new manual for the Commercial Crimes Investigations Department (CCID).
He revealed that dormant cases were an issue for the department.
“We found that one of the reasons was due to the frequent changes of personnel. We have taken the appropriate steps and have been successful in solving a large number of these cases. There are around 29,000 cases still remaining, ” he said.