Malaysian billionaire held in Sadao on laundering charge

Malaysian billionaire held in Sadao on laundering charge

High-roller dubbed 'Jho Low 2' in Malaysia also wanted for $83-million scam in Macau

Teow Wooi Huat is taken to a police station in Sadao district of Songkhla after he was arrested early Friday morning on charges of money laundering. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)
Teow Wooi Huat is taken to a police station in Sadao district of Songkhla after he was arrested early Friday morning on charges of money laundering. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)

SONGKHLA: Police have arrested a wealthy Malaysian businessman for allegedly laundering money from online gambling in Thailand.

Teow Wooi Huat, also known as Tedy, was arrested at the headquarters of his MBI Group empire at Dan Nok near the border checkpoint in Sadao district of the southern province early Friday morning.

Mr Teow, 55, was charged with laundering money in connection with online gambling in southern Thailand, said Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, assistant to the national police chief.

The arrest came after investigators reviewed evidence from crackdowns on online gambling dens in Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat and other southern provinces and found links to Mr Teow.

The Malaysian businessman founded MBI Group, which operates an entertainment complex, including a resort, on a 100-rai site at Dan Nok.

His MBI International SDN Bhd also operates several businesses in Malaysia.

He was initially arrested in 2017 by Malaysian authorities on drug charges. It was unclear what happened to those charges and how he managed to cross into Thailand and live a life of luxury.

In Malaysia, however, Mr Teow is an outlaw celebrity of sorts. He’s been dubbed “Jho Low 2” — a reference to the Penang native who masterminded the looting of billions of dollars from the national development fund 1MDB and is still on the lam. Like Low, Mr Teow hails from Penang and likes to mix with celebrities. 

According to a report last year in the South China Morning Post, Mr Teow is wanted in connection with a 336-million-ringgit (US$83 million) money-laundering scam in Macau.

Police believe Mr Teow was the mastermind behind a syndicate that tricked people in Macau into investing their money in bogus companies.

The investments were filtered through a series of accounts before eventually being used to purchase high-end property in Malaysia and Thailand and to invest in cryptocurrency, police say.


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