Desperate Jho Low Cashing Out – Getting Ready To Be Sacrificed?

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Feb 15 2016
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The more Najib son of Razak is pronounced “innocent” by Malaysian authorities, the more people perceive him as guilty as hell. There’s no two ways about it. Even if Mahathir, his former mentor-turned-enemy agrees to grant him a safe passage, at least 53% of 30-million Malaysian populations are against such a slap on the wrist punishment.

Prime Minister Najib Razak and Former PM Mahathir Mohamad - Happy Time in 2009

Even if Prime Minister Najib miraculously agrees to quit now in exchange for full immunity and a royal pardon, in addition to keeping all the alleged RM2.6 billion of “donation” money, his wife Rosmah Mansor would not agree to it. The unlimited power and wealth that come with the position were simply too tempting and mouth-watering to let go.


If only Najib knew he needs merely 10% (*grin*) of the US$681 million “gift” from Saudi royal family. If only Najib realized how stupid it was to receive the money under his personal name. If only Najib had been honest from day one and declared he had returned US$650 million to the Saudi. If only Najib dared sue the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Najib Declare 700 Million As Donation - Obama Laugh

If only Najib hadn’t cooked up so many conflicting stories about the purpose of accepting the RM2.6 billion. If only Rosmah hadn’t done so many shopping trips or shown her Birkin collection so eagerly in public. If only Riza Aziz hadn’t funded the production of “The Wolf of Wall Street” and purchased too many New York luxury apartments.


If only Razak Baginda hadn’t been so cheapskate and paid Mongolian Altantuya her US$500,000 in commission. If only Najib’s financial wizard Jho Low could keep himself away from clubbing and rubbing Paris Hilton the wrong way that attracted unnecessary publicity. But it’s water under the bridge now with at least 5 countries investigating PM Najib Razak.

Prime Minister Najib Razak - Emperor Crown

True, the prime minister is untouchable by virtue of him in control of national treasure as finance minister, hence making him the most powerful man in the country. Still, to be the first prime minister to be investigated by 5 powerful nations over money laundering and misappropriation allegations is extremely shameful and damaging.


Najib’s scandals are far from over. And it’s hard to imagine how he can stand on world stages pretending as if nothing had happened while the U.S., UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland authorities are investigating him. His scandals need a convincing closure. Heads need to roll. Small fries don’t count as people are hungry for big fish to be prosecuted.

Jho Low and Father Larry Low - 1MDB Scandal

After Jho Low (Low Taek Jho) and his father (Larry Low Hock Peng) bank accounts were frozen in Singapore and Switzerland respectively, both of whom were believed to be involved and have benefited from PM Najib’s triple scandals, flashy Jho Low has been reduced to selling fine art to raise money to fund his luxury lifestyle.


Among others, Mr. Jho Low’s Pablo Picasso (1935’s Marie-Therese Walter) went for US$27.6 million (a loss of 45%); the Jean-Michel Basquiat (1982’s Untitled Head of Madman) for US$9 million (a loss of 33%) and the Claude Monet (Palazzo Ducale in Venice) sold for US$16.8 million, below Sotheby’s pre-sale price estimation.

Jho Low - Posing in Office Standing

At his peak, Jho Low’s total worth of art collections were in excess of US$200 million. Sure, he made some money from sale of other paintings such as his 10-foot-tall Gerhard Richter abstract to billionaire Ken Griffin for US$44 million. But he also “deliberately” bought paintings at “double” the pre-sale price such as Basquiat’s “Dustheads” at US$48.8 million.


Jho Low, clearly not an art enthusiast, buys and sells fine paintings either as a mere speculator or uses them to do money laundering. As other traditional money-laundering techniques have come under closer scrutiny, smugglers, drug traffickers, arms dealers, corrupt politicians and the like have increasingly turned to the famously opaque art market.

Jho Low and Paris Hilton - On Boat Together

Jho Low With Paris Hilton Partying 2

Because you can have a transaction where the seller is listed as “private collection” and the buyer is listed as “private collection”, art market is highly unregulated even in developed countries such as U.S. and Europe. Thus, criminals love using artworks to hide illicit profits and illegally transfer assets around the globe. In 2014 alone, global art market was worth a staggering US$75 billion (£51.7 billion; RM312 billion).


In the case of Jho Low, he practically got all the artworks for “free” since at least US$700 million was allegedly siphoned from 1MDB’s original US$1 billion investment into his own company – Good Star Limited. From there, he laundered part of the allegedly illicit funds through the art market, anonymously, and move it as assets anywhere in the world.

Jho Low - Money Dropping - TheEdge Siphoning USD700 Million

But as the heat from Najib’s triple scandals escalates continuously, the time is ripe for the fine arts to be liquidated and converted into cash. These cash, now legitimate money, can be sent to tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. Once there, Jho Low’s monies are virtually invincible and untouchable, even to superpower United States.


Most importantly, Jho Low could be sacrificed as scapegoat, as a last resort, to stand trial on 1MDB or RM2.6 billion misappropriation charges, either in Malaysia or in any of the 5 countries investigating the cases. Already, Mr. Yak Yew Chee, a senior banker at Swiss-based BSI Singapore, has emerged as a key figure in 1MDB’s money laundering probe in Singapore.

Yak Yew Chee - 1MDB Scandal - Swiss BSI Senior Private Banker

Swiss BSI Bank Singapore - Receptionist

Started with annual salary of S$500,000 (US$356,746; £245,795; RM1,483,376) in 2011, his pay check doubles since 2013. According to Singapore court affidavit, his bonus rocketed from S$649,294 in 2011 to S$10.44 million by 2014. However, judging by how Mr. Yak dumps documents to all and sundry, he’s not ready to be made the only scapegoat in the scandals.


Presently, the heat is on PM Najib Razak. Just like a piece of fine art, a big fish needs to be exhibited at galleries. That big fish is none other than Jho Low. But make no mistake about it. There’ll be no paper trail implicating Mr. Jho directly to his ill-gotten money and he would eventually be pronounced as innocent as a lamb.

Jho Low, Prince Turki, Najib Razak, Rosmah Mansor - Yacht

Switzerland Attorney General Michael Lauber - Najib Razak and 1MDB Scandal

Once Jho Low is cleared of any misappropriation, corruption, money laundering and whatnot by the Switzerland and Singapore, the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong would likely do the same. With no case against Najib’s 1MDB by foreign countries, Malaysian government-controlled media and paid bloggers can sing like a canary about the prime minister’s innocent, once and for all.


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