Malaysian billionaire and DAP financier arrested in Thailand

(The Nation Thailand/ANN): A fugitive Malaysian businessman operating in Thailand has been arrested in southern Songkhla province for alleged money laundering.

Teow Wooi Huat, the founder of MBI Group International, was arrested in the early hours of Friday by a team led by National Police assistant chief Pol Lt-General Surachate Hakparn.

Police also searched his MBI Group office in Sadao district on the Thai-Malaysian border.

His capture came after recent arrests of local politicians in Songkhla and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces after a crackdown on online gambling in southern Thailand.

An investigation led by Surachate discovered their links to Teow, police said on Friday.

The billionaire businessman was found to be the major financier of the online gambling rings.

MBI Group’s office in Thailand is located on a plot of land spanning over 100 rai (16 hectares). It is involved in a wide variety of businesses worth over 10 billion baht, ranging from hotels and entertainment places to amusement park and real estate.

The Malaysian businessman had been arrested in 2017 on the charge of drug dealing. He fled to Songkhla and later managed to escape prosecution.

In 2018, Malaysian authorities charged Teow with financial crimes. His assets were seized for his connection with a pyramid scheme. He fled from Malaysia to Thailand last year.

His company MBI Group International made headlines in Malaysia in October 2019 when scores of Chinese nationals rallied outside the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, claiming they had lost their life savings to the firm.

The people said they had been “cheated” by an online pyramid scheme allegedly run by MBI Group International. Teow was also wanted in Malaysia in connection with a 336-million-ringgit (US$83 million) money-laundering scam in Macau.