First Jho Low, now another convicted Malaysian businessman is on the run!

Photo: Leonard Glenn Francis or ‘Fat Leonard’
Photo: Leonard Glenn Francis or ‘Fat Leonard’

Leonard Glenn Francis, the Malaysian military contractor who admitted to orchestrating the greatest public corruption scandal in US Navy history and was sentenced to house detention, has fled his home and is on the loose. 

Not enough that we have Jho Low on the run and now we have another one! 

According to Supervisory Deputy US Marshal Omar Castillo, Francis, popularly known as “Fat Leonard,” removed his GPS tracking ankle tag on Sunday morning. 

He was reportedly set to be sentenced later this month on September 22.

“He was planning this out, that’s for sure,” Castillo was quoted as saying, adding that neighbours had seen moving trucks going in and out of Francis’ home in previous days.

Castillo said that the US Marshals Office was contacted at 2 p.m. yesterday after San Diego police discovered his residence to be vacant. This activated the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force and a high-profile manhunt.

He reportedly added that law enforcement agencies will be notified to be on the lookout while alerts will be placed at international borders and airports.

However, he acknowledged that Francis could have already entered Mexico.

Francis reportedly pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges he provided US Navy officers with cash, gifts and sex workers in exchange for classified information about where ships were scheduled to dock.

Then, he allegedly treated his targets to pricey presents for their spouses and paid for one of their families to take a weeklong vacation in Singapore and Malaysia.

He allegedly did all of this so he could “prod his moles” on the Blue Ridge, the US Navy’s “floating headquarters in Asia”, to send other aircraft carrier and vessels to ports controlled by his Singapore-based company Glenn Defence Marine Asia.

He apparently also convinced these officials to send other US-based ships to his ports so he could charge them exorbitant prices for supplies, gasoline, and other services.

Francis was released on medical leave and put under house arrest in 2018 due to health difficulties. Pretrial Services, a federal organisation in the US that monitors defendants who are not in detention until sentencing, is in charge of keeping an eye on him.

While he was under house arrest, he reportedly served as a cooperating witness for federal prosecutors who were developing charges against other participants in the scam.

According to news reports, US Navy standards dictate that officers were only allowed to accept gifts that are worth US$20 (RM77.76) or less or with a cap of not more than US$50 (RM194.40) a year from one person or entity.

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