Has Jho Low, the infamous white-collar criminal, found refuge in China’s gambling hub?

Visitors pose for photos at The London-themed casino in Macau, making it the latest supercasino to open in the Chinese territory, which earns more gambling revenue annually than Las Vegas. The Londoner offers a variety of iconic British-themed backdrops for visitors, such as red phone booths, a double-decker bus, and a statue of Winston Churchill outside a mock 10 Downing Street. The casino floor hosts visitors playing traditional games such as blackjack and dai sai.

Despite its small size of just 30 square kilometers, Macau attracts many tourists who engage in gambling activities, making it an unlikely hiding spot for an international fugitive. However, it has served as a hiding place for Jho Low, a notorious white-collar criminal who has been on the run from the authorities in the United States, Singapore, and Malaysia for five years.

Low Thaek Jho, commonly known as Jho Low, is accused of being involved in the embezzlement of approximately US$4.5 billion from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, along with former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak and other co-conspirators. The stolen funds were used to finance extravagant purchases and even a high-profile Hollywood movie.

Despite the accusations against him, Low has maintained his innocence and avoided appearing in court. Both Singapore and Malaysia have issued Interpol red notices for his arrest, and he is also subject to a U.S. arrest warrant. However, Low’s international travel has not been significantly impacted by these notices, and he has managed to evade prosecution.

After the Malaysian government began cracking down on individuals involved in the 1MDB scandal, Low was reported to have traveled to several countries, including China, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. While there have been no reports of him outside China since 2020, it is believed that he is being protected by the Chinese government.

Despite efforts by Malaysian authorities to bring Low to justice, it is unclear whether the current government actually shares a desire to see him appear in court. The potential implications and revelations that could emerge from Low’s return could be significant, involving officials and lawmakers who have thus far evaded prosecution.

In the meantime, Low continues to evade justice, with many believing that he is being protected by the Chinese government and will likely remain at large in the foreseeable future.