KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 4): The Malaysian police are in the process of seizing assets worth RM93.2 million purchased using 1MDB funds with the help of former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) lawyer Jasmine Loo, said Deputy Inspector General of Police Datuk Seri Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.
According to Ayob Khan, among the assets identified included properties in Singapore, the US, and London as well as nine paintings, including two by renowned painter Picasso, on top of monies held in several bank accounts.
“These assets were declared by Loo to the police and also recorded in her statutory declaration that was signed on Aug 23,” said Ayob Khan at a press conference.
The assets are believed to be worth even more now, he added, as the RM93.2 million tag is based on the prices in 2013 when the assets were first purchased.
The assets in Malaysia are currently kept by the Commercial Crime Unit, he said. For overseas assets, efforts are underway to seize them in order to be returned to the government, said Ayob.
Jasmine, who was held by the police under remand since July 7 for her involvement in the 1MDB scam, will now be sent to other agencies for follow-up investigations including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), he added.
Loo also admitted she received cash, luxury watches and several branded handbags, including a Birkin from wanted businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low), said Ayob.
“Further investigation carried out by the police also successfully identified the assets and monies in the US that were owned by Jasmine Loo. This included a condominium in One Madison Park worth RM21.4 million and nine paintings worth RM8.1 million, with one kept in Switzerland and remaining eight in New York.
“Loo also had a bank account with a current balance of RM23.2 million in it. In London, the police found a condominium in London worth RM12.9 million,” Ayob Khan said.
Ayob said Loo admitted that she was the owner of a company called River Dee International SA registered in the British Virgin Islands. This company was used to run a real estate business and opened a joint account with Jho Low in Falcon Private Bank in November 2012.
Through the company, Loo received US$16 million across five transactions, which were used to purchase real estate in New York and London amounting to US$7.9 million, and other investments in the US.
A total of US$5 million from the funds had previously been frozen by the US Department of Justice (US DOJ).
In Malaysia, the police raided Loo's condominium in Bukit Damansara and confiscated a total of RM625,000 worth of items include two watches, 13 handbags, and a bracelet.
Authorities also identified the assets and property in Singapore owned by Loo, which included a bank account in Credit Suisse held under Heartland Global with S$4 million in it, as well as two condominiums worth S$3.8 million.
Another account is held under Springbrook Global in BSI bank, in which the amount of funds is yet to be confirmed by the police.
Loo, 50, was arrested following her return to Malaysia on July 7, after five years on the run.
She is said to be one of the accomplices of fugitive Jho Low, and is one of the defendants in the US$8 billion suit filed by 1MDB against her, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and other former 1MDB officers.
Ayob, at the press conference, assured that the investigations for 1MDB covers all aspects, including tracing the whereabouts of Jho Low.