After escaping house arrest more than two weeks ago, Leonard Glenn Francis, a former Malaysian military contractor was caught by the Venezuelan authorities yesterday, NBC News reported.
The Penang-born businessman was allegedly trying to get onto an aircraft at the Simón Bolívar International Airport to travel to another country, according to a spokesperson for the US Marshalls. Until his extradition is arranged by US officials, he will stay in Venezuelan detention.
Carlos Garate Rondon, the director-general of Interpol Venezuela, reportedly said in a statement that Francis had entered the country from Mexico, with a stopover in Cuba, and was about to head to Russia.
Fun fact: Both Leonard and Jho Low are from Penang.
The arrest came after Venezuelan authorities were alerted to Francis’ wanted status by Interpol.
After cutting his monitoring anklet off on September 4, Francis managed to escape house arrest in San Diego, California. He managed to flee just days before he was scheduled to be sentenced in connection with a major scandal involving the bribery of US Navy officials.
According to the prosecution, Francis provided Navy commanders with cash, fine dining, pricey cigars, rare cognac, wild sex parties in opulent hotels, and cash in return for contracts.
In 2015, Francis pleaded guilty to bribing navy officials as part of a wide-ranging fraud scheme involving his Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, which serviced ships in the navy’s Pacific Fleet.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s most wanted man, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, is still on the run.
Low went off radar in 2018 after former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government lost the general election and he is now considered a fugitive. The 40-year-old faces charges for money laundering and a litany of other offenses related to the 1MDB scandal.