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Jho Low’s private jet reportedly grounded in Singapore

SINGAPORE — The private jet of Malaysian tycoon Low Taek Jho — which the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) had sought to seize — has reportedly been grounded at Seletar Airport.

A plane matching the photo and description by whistleblower site Sarawak Report was seen at Seletar Airport, but its registration number had been covered up. Photo: TODAY

A plane matching the photo and description by whistleblower site Sarawak Report was seen at Seletar Airport, but its registration number had been covered up. Photo: TODAY

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SINGAPORE — The private jet of Malaysian tycoon Low Taek Jho — which the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) had sought to seize — has reportedly been grounded at Seletar Airport.

A Bombardier Global 5000 jet with the registration number N689WM, is part of the DOJ’s list of assets — worth more than US$1 billion (S$1.40 billion) — that it was seeking to seize, as part of investigations linked to a global conspiracy to launder funds related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Last Friday, whistleblower website Sarawak Report published a picture of a private jet with a registration number matching the DOJ description at Seletar Airport.

When TODAY went to Seletar Airport on Sunday, a plane matching the photo and description was seen on the premises, but its registration number had been covered up.

The police declined to comment on whether the authorities had grounded the plane, stating that investigations are still in progress.

Asked if Mr Low — often referred to as Jho Low — is in Singapore to assist with the probe, the Attorney-General’s Chambers said it was unable to comment as investigations are ongoing.

TODAY understands that the aircraft was parked near a hangar operated by Jet Aviation at the airport. However, the company said in response to TODAY’s queries that it could not release information.

The DOJ filing showed that the aircraft was sold on Mar 31, 2010, to Wells Fargo Bank Northwest, in its capacity as owner trustee of a trust created by one Wynton Aviation, a holding company owned by Mr Low. It was previously owned by JT Aviation Corp, and was valued at US$35.3 million at purchase, according to the DOJ.

Last July, the Singaporean authorities seized bank accounts and properties from individuals amounting to some S$240 million, following investigations into scandal-hit Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB. Around half of these assets are owned by Mr Low and his immediate family.

In November, the Singapore authorities for the first time named Mr Low as a “key person of interest”. That disclosure came on the eighth day of trial of ex-BSI banker Yeo Jiawei.

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