We recently watched 'The Kleptocrats' on Astro Best and realised something about fugitive financier Low Taek Low (Jho Low). His character reminded us of banker Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Wolf of Wall Street'!
In case you didn't know who Jordan Belfort is, he used to be a former stockbroker who was jailed in 1998 for crimes related to stock-market manipulation and running a penny-stock scam.
Here's a pretty interesting read if you want to find out more about Belfort.
So, of course we had to watch the movie again just to be sure and these are some of the things we found to be interestingly similar between both the characters:
#1 The Yacht
If you've seen the movie, you'll remember how proud Belfort was of his luxury yacht named Naomi. In real-life, Belfort did name his yacht after his (then) wife, whose real name is Nadine.
Similarly, Jho Low's Equanimity, which he is believed to have used to flee the country but was later seized, is just as luxurious and a point of pride for him.
We also noted that Belfort used his yacht to leave the United States when he was forbidden to do so. Jho Low is believed to have used the same method to avoid certain people or organisations who wanted him found.
#2 Party Animals
While no reports have surfaced to suggest that Jho Low's life was filled with drugs and debauchery, like how Belfort's was as depicted in 'The Wolf of Wall Street', his love for extravagant parties and spending ridiculous amount of money at clubs are well documented.
In fact, New York Post in an article in 2009 referred to Jho Low as 'Big-spending Malaysian man is the mystery man of city club scene'. That's right. He made headline because of his partying ways.
In Belfort's case, the partying was much more depraved with sexual orgies and a lot of drugs as shown in the movies as well as his memoir, but the love for a good time with a lot of people is shared by both the characters.
#3 Pretty Women
Jho Low reportedly dated Miranda Kerr and spent millions in gift on her. That should already tell you about his taste in women. He was also known to have spent time with famous socialites and celebrities, although the nature of those relationships were never reported to be anything beyond friendship.
We're not sure if his relationship coincided with his hiring of models and beautiful waitresses to be at his parties, but it definitely reminded us of Belfort!
In the movie, Belfort admits to being a sex addict and it was almost obscene the way he was portrayed to use women.
In an interview with Arabian Business, he even said that one of his main motivation to make money were women.
#4 The Luxurious Properties
If you want to see Jho Low's house, try Googling videos of him promoting his company, Jynwel Capitals. It's quite a place and the video looked like he was trying to show off his wealth, perhaps to appear more credible to his clients.
Tom Wright, journalist and author of 'The Billion Dollar Whale', has even mentioned that Jho Low's portrayal of wealth was one of the ways he used to get into the elite circle.
Besides his luxurious home, Jho Low was also linked to several properties in New York, which was bought under shell companies. At least one of the properties is a penthouse in one of the most expensive building in the city, where celebrities like Beyonce and Jay-Z lived.
Throughout 'The Wolf of Wall Street', you can see Belfort living in similarly expensive buildings.
His five-bedroom mansion in one of the most affluent neighbourhood in Long Island had all the luxury and grandeur you'd expect from one who loves having wealth and showing it off.
You can get a look into the house here.
#5 Both were caught (sort of)
Belfort paid for his crimes and later became a speaker and author of 'The Wolf of Wall Street', the book which was the inspiration for the movie of the same name.
Jho Low is being hunted by authorities in several countries as he is the main suspect in 1Malaysia Development Berhad's scandal. He's still out there somewhere, but his days are numbered.