Time To Arrest And Question Phengphian Laogumnerd?
Why has no arrest warrant and Red Notice been issued for the Thai National Phengphian Laogumnerd?
Sarawak Report flagged up the Thai national and identified him as a key facilitator for Jho Low back in 2017 and the Singapore authorities had cited him in open court as a fellow traveller of Jho back in November 2016.
The young party goer was a regular feature in the Jho Low entourage having apparently been part of his ‘gang’ from his days at Wharton College in the United States. It is believed he may be a relative.
He was part of the notorious New Year party bash of 2013 when Jho Low flew his pals (on stolen 1MDB money) via a hired jumbo jet from Sydney to Las Vegas in time to celebrate the moment twice.
Sarawak Report noted the suspiciously coincidental arrival of Laogumnerd as the Chairman of the newly established ‘first Islamic Bank’ in Mauritius, Century Banking Corporation, in November 2016 just as the heat had been turned up on Jho Low after the Department of Justice seizure of 1MDB assets.
Why an ‘Islamic bank’ and why so many Malaysian nationals on the team Sarawak Report could not help but wonder? Of course, Jho Low’s imperative to control his own bank had reached somewhat desperate levels as the international banking system closed against him given his status as an international fugitive and notorious fraudster and what better than an Islamic bank to foster his connections with Najib and his Middle Eastern network?
In June this year Sarawak Report finally confirmed those suspicions after obtaining details of the Kuwaiti investigation into Jho’s key front man in Kuwait from 2016, namely Sheikh Sabah Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (Sheikh Sabah) son of the prime minister.
The Kuwait Anti-Money Laundering Agency outlined how over a €150 million out of billions that arrived into Sheikh Sabah’s account from Chinese kickbacks organised by Najib Razak (via projects procured through his Ministery of Finance in Malaysia) was then sent on to Century Banking Corporation in Mauritius in what the Kuwaiti experts described as a classic money laundering exercise.
Following Sarawak Report’s exclusive the Kuwaitis arrested Sheikh Sabah and are currently reviewing the details of their earlier investigation, which appears to have been suppressed before Sarawak Report exposed its findings.
Little surprise therefore that the bank has finally had its licence revoked. Off shore island regulators in particular appear remarkably blind to misdeeds until they are impossible to ignore.
Jho’s Front Man
Top respected law firms in New York, London and elsewhere have proved equally poor sighted when it comes to Jho Low and 1MDB it would appear. Using open source information Sarawak Report has frequently pointed to Laogumnerd’s role in helping out Jho Low as an effective proxy.
In 2017 he took over ownership of the Myla women’s underwear company which housed its offices in the suite of buildings acquired by Jho in Stratton Street Mayfair under a New Zealand trust, now seized by the FBI. He also acquired and then fire-sale’d a multi-million dollar New York penthouse in a carbon copy of Jho’s own real estate ventures … using the exact same off shore methods and New Zealand law firms as Jho himself.
Sarawak Report has also highlighted how Laogumnerd’s connections in Bangkok appear to have assisted Jho, his contacts in PetroSaudi and Najib to manage the arrest and ongoing incarceration of the PetroSaudi/1MDB whistleblower Xavier Justo from 2015.
Yet, despite the wealth of information and evidence about Laogumnerd’s dubious and apparent proxy status regarding Jho Low, law firms like Kobre & Kim appear to have been willing to accept the Thai national as an acceptable ‘principle’ from whom to receive payments of tens of millions of dollars to finance the fugitive’s legal and lobbying campaigns in the United States, UK and elsewhere.
Indeed, it is abundantly clear that from 2016 Laogumnerd and Sheikh Sabah were acting as the two front men lending respectability to payments on Jho’s behalf and thereby enabling them to be received by Kobre & Kim through the international banking system.
By May this year Sarawak Report had so thoroughly exposed the relationship between Jho Low and Sheikh Sabah as his front man for his legal bills that the law firm in its latest filings under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act no longer sought to conceal the name of the ‘foreign principles’, whom they had previously refused to identify but admitted were paying Jho’s expenses out of “friendship”.
Their most recent submission to the public records on June 15th not only named the Sheikh for the first time but added a further shock confirmation over the role of Laogumnerd:
This admission by Jho Low’s esteemed and enormously highly paid legal support network surely leads to one overwhelming conclusion. Mr Phengphian Laogumnerd is in possession of all the information any searching detective might wish to have about how to make contact with Jho Low and indeed pin him down for a well-deserved arrest.
The authorities in China have said they have no idea where Jho is hiding, whilst at the same time lobbying on top matters of state (namely China’s desire to return the billionaire fugitive and client of Steve Bannon, Guo Wengchu) on behalf of China. However, Phengphian Laogumnerd most certainly does know where he is and how to access Jho Low’s cash.
Phengphian Laogumnerd is also plainly in violation of numerous money laundering laws himself and should therefore, at the very least, have been hauled up for questioning just like Sheikh Sabah by the Thai authorities or on their behalf.
Or has Phengphian Laogumnerd also himself now disappeared into hiding? Perhaps the Bangkok authorities might care to comment, given the none too glorious history of the country’s management of the 1MDB affair?
If this is the case and Phengphian Laogumnerd is also himself a fugitive, how do proud and upstanding legal firms like Kobre & Kim justify continuing to receive payments from this Thai front man for the world’ most wanted financial fugitive on the fugitive’s behalf?
Sarawak Report has placed the question to Kobre & Kim and will publish any response they may have.