Key witness in Jho Low investigation dies at 56, secrets buried

Photo via Social Media

Kee Kok Thiam, a man questioned by Malaysian authorities regarding the location of fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, known as Jho Low, has died at the age of 56. Lawyers for Kee Kok Thiam and his family announced in a statement that he passed away on Monday due to a sudden massive stroke in a hospital. They urged people not to speculate on the event and to allow the family space to grieve.

It is understood that Kee had been questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). A MACC source revealed that Kee had met with the agency when he first returned to Malaysia in early May. Kee had been a suspect in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) financial scandal and had informed local authorities about Low’s whereabouts, according to local media.

The New Straits Times reported that Kee was Low’s associate and had been deported from Macau for overstaying his visa. He was arrested at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA2) in early May and questioned upon his return. Al Jazeera, quoting MACC, reported that several individuals had spotted Low in Macau.

Kee had reportedly confirmed to MACC that he had met Low, who told him “not to return to Malaysia as a witness in the 1MDB case.” He also met other 1MDB fugitives and suspects – Eric Tan Kim Loong, Casey Tang Keng Chee, Geh Choh Heng, and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil – in Macau.

MACC added that it was not informed by the Macau government about Kee’s repatriation and claimed that it had known about the informant’s deportation “based on intelligence networking.”

MACC also reportedly told Al Jazeera that Kee was imprisoned for a month in 2021 by Macau’s immigration body but was released “conditionally” as its borders were closed due to Covid-19 regulations.

According to sources cited by Malay Mail, Kee was suspected of receiving money originating from funds misappropriated from 1MDB and SRC International through the bank account of a company known as Wright Shaw Limited.

Low has been charged in Malaysia and the United States for allegedly masterminding the theft of US$4.5 billion from state fund 1MDB. He has consistently denied wrongdoing and is now reportedly under house arrest in Shanghai.

World News

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Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.