Fugitive businessperson Jho Low has condemned the seizure of his family home in Penang as an attempt by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to score political points.
"The Low family property was built and completed around twenty years ago, during Mahathir’s previous administration.
"This was more than a decade before 1MDB ever existed and at that time Mr. Low was still a teenager," a spokeperson for Low said in an email today.
"This purported seizure of a property unconnected to any of the allegations is a blatant demonstration of Mahathir’s politicisation of the issues ... further demonstrating that Mr Low cannot get a fair trial," the statement added.
Earlier today, the New Straits Times reported that a notice of seizure was posted on the front wall of the house in Penang. The notice was addressed to Low's 66-year-old mother Goh Gaik Ewe.
The notice signed off by deputy public prosecutor Syafinas Shabudin, said the property was a subject matter of an offence under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism, Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
Read more: Jho Low's family house in Penang seized
The section concerns the offence of money laundering and carries a punishment of up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of five times the value of laundered funds or RM5 million, whichever higher.
Low's spokesperson questioned the government's sudden interest in the property.
Police have sought Goh and her husband Low Hock Peng to facilitate investigations into the whereabouts of Jho Low, who is a fugitive, and believed to be in China.
In February 2018, Jho Low's luxury yacht The Equanimity, reportedly worth US$250 million, was seized.
International investigators believe at least US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.
Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is facing 42 charges of money laundering and corruption in relation to the 1MDB scandal.
The MACC claimed he had received US$972 million in funds linked to 1MDB. Najib had denied wrongdoing.