KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police is applying for fugitive businessman Teow Wooi Huat (pic) to be repatriated.
In a statement last night, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) confirmed that the wanted Malaysian was currently under the custody of Thai authorities.
Its secretary Datuk Noorsiah Mohd Saaduddin said the suspect was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
“The PDRM is in the process of applying for the individual to be repatriated to Malaysia to assist in investigations,” she said in the statement quoted by Bernama.
Previously, the businessman had his visa cancelled and was placed on Interpol’s Red Notice list.
Earlier, Thai media quoted the country’s national police assistant chief Pol Lt-Gen Surachate Hakparn as saying that Teow, who is also wanted in China and Thailand, was expected to be deported to China today.
He said the Chinese embassy in Thailand was facilitating the extradition.
Prior to his arrest, Surachate said Leow was attempting to flee Thailand on an illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing boat.
“When we received the information, we contacted Malaysia’s Special Branch director Datuk Seri Zamri Yahya.
“With cooperation from the Malaysian police, we brought the boat back to our shore,” he said.
Teow founded the MBI Group and operated entertainment complexes, including a resort in Danok at the Thailand-Malaysia border, as well as built a business empire from online investment schemes attracting investors from China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Macau.
In 2018, Malaysian authorities charged Teow with financial crime and his assets were seized for his alleged connection to a pyramid scheme, but he fled to Thailand last year.
In 2019, Malaysian authorities froze 91 bank accounts totalling RM177mil linked to MBI Group International then.
Bank Negara had listed it as a company running a dubious financial scheme.
MBI Group International made headlines in Malaysia in October 2019 when scores of Chinese nationals rallied outside the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, claiming to have lost their life savings to the firm.
In 2017, Teow had also been arrested by the Narcotics Suppression Bureau of the Royal Thai Police on drug charges but he fled from Songkhla and escaped the death penalty.