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Cyprus has cancelled Jho Low’s passport, and Malaysia police say he’s not there and might’ve had plastic surgery

Jho Low’s alleged beach villa in Cyprus sits on land owned by the country’s Orthodox Church, which a local paper claims helped get his citizenship approved.
Facebook/Visit Cyprus
  • Jho Low’s secret Cypriot passport has been revoked days after local paper Politis uncovered its existence.

  • Malaysian police confirmed Low is not living on the idyllic Mediterranean island, but hiding in another remote country, whose Government is ignoring requests to send him back.

  • Controversy is swirling in Cyprus over how Low got his passport, which has been linked to a 300,000 euro church donation.

  • Low’s alleged beach villa on the island’s popular Aiya Napa resort sits on church land.

Days after a bombshell expose by local newspaper Politis, the Republic of Cyprus has cancelled fugitive businessman Jho Low’s passport, while Malaysian police say he is not currently hiding on the Mediterranean island.

Politis first published a photo of Low’s passport on Sunday (Nov 3), prompting investigations by both countries.

Read also: Jho Low is allegedly a citizen of an idyllic Mediterranean island – and owns a RM23 million beach villa there, local paper claims

The following day, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the Government would “absolutely” revoke Low’s passport if it existed, Politis reported.

He added it would audit the 4,000 citizenships previously granted and revoke any found breaching new citizenship criteria implemented last year, which includes rejecting politically exposed persons.

Previously, applicants’ background checks did not have to be submitted to the Government. Low’s report, conducted by Thomson Reuters and reproduced by Politis, indicated he was a politically exposed person at risk of money laundering and fraud.

Read also: Singapore had requested Interpol to publish ‘red notice’ on Jho Low for his arrest since 2016 and Malaysia was aware: Singapore Authorities

Following the audit, the Cypriot government announced on Wednesday (Nov 6) that it would revoke the passports of Low and 25 others granted before 2018.

These include eight Cambodians allegedly linked to authoritarian leader Hun Sen, and a Kenyan billionaire under investigation for tax evasion, local news site Cyprus Mail added.

Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides added that it had been “a mistake not to have criteria… for high-risk persons”.

Read also: Najib’s former aide says Jho Low had ‘extraordinary powers’ and ‘was like the unofficial advisor to Najib’

However, President Anastasiades defended the economic benefits of the country’s citizenship-by-investment scheme, adding that “honest mistakes” could have resulted in a small number of about “10 or 15” riskier individuals accepted, Politis quoted him as saying.

His predecessor, Socrates Hasicos, admitted in Facebook posts on Nov 4 and 5 that Low’s passport was granted during his term, but said the wanted financier had no criminal record at the time, based on checks with Interpol, Cyprus police, and the Cypriot bank he used.