Bookstores worldwide receive letters warning against sale of book on 1MDB scam accused; publisher rejects demand

Bookshops across the world have reportedly received threatening letters from lawyers representing Malaysian financier and fugitive Jho Low to prevent the distribution of the book Billion Dollar Whale, which is about his alleged role in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scam: one of the biggest in the world.

Jho Low. Facebook

Jho Low. Facebook

This book, written by Wall Street Journal reporters Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, delves into how he masterminded the theft of billions of dollars from the State-owned fund 1MDB. Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, then reportedly transferred the money to bank accounts in Singapore, the Virgin Islands and Switzerland.

Though Low has not sent a legal notice to Hachette, the publisher of the book, the distribution of the book in the UK has been effectively blocked because of these letters, which have been sent by the firm Schillings, reports The Guardian. Additionally, the book has been taken off retail websites such as Amazon and Waterstones.

Hachette issued a response saying that because these letters are not a court order, they do not merit a response. It said excerpts of the book have been carried in publications around the world, and no lawsuit has been filed. Additionally, the matter is not sub judice in India, and no letter has been sent to bookstores in the US.

Low, who is currently a fugitive, faces charges of money laundering in Malaysia. Interpol reportedly published a red notice to locate him. He has claimed he is not guilty of fraud, has not broken any law and is not facing any investigation. Terming the contents of the book as being "untrue and defamatory", his lawyers mention in the letters sent to bookshops that publishing synopses of it constitutes libel of Low.

In Billion Dollar Whale, journalists Wright and Hope allege that Low siphoned off funds from the investment organisation by befriending the then Malaysian prime minister and earning the prime minister's trust, which allowed him to evade Wall Street banks. They write that he later used this money to buy property and live a life of excesses. Jho Low also financed the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, and Leonardo DiCaprio thanked him during the Golden Globes award ceremony in 2011.


Updated Date: Oct 16, 2018 22:58 PM

Also See