Deutsche Bank cleared nearly €6m for fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho in 2015 ahead of his purchase of a house which allowed him to obtain a Cypriot passport under a scheme offering citizenship to foreigners who invest in high-end property, the Financial Times reports.
The payment was made in June 2015 from Low’s Swiss account at Abu Dhabi-owned Falcon Bank to the Bank of Cyprus, according to a transaction record seen by the paper. The money transfer happened several months after allegations surfaced that Low helped misappropriate vast sums from Malaysia’s 1MDB state investment fund. The businessman, who is under US criminal indictment, has always denied any wrongdoing.
According to the report, Deutsche Bank acted as a correspondent bank and processed the cross-border transfer of the payment, made from Jho Low’s Swiss account at Falcon Bank to the Bank of Cyprus.
The German lender is one of the world’s largest processors of cross-border payments. In 2019, it pulled out of correspondent bank activities in Cyprus and several other EU countries because of the risks involved.
Jho Low is wanted by authorities for money laundering and criminal breach of trust. He is also listed as a wanted person under Interpol’s red notice although he has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
Last November, news broke that he had obtained a Cypriot passport following intervention on his behalf by Archbishop Chrysostomos II, head of the Orthodox Church on the eastern Mediterranean island. Jho’s whereabouts remain unknown although police said last month that the businessman used to reside in Wuhan, China.