US seeks suspension of court action on 1MDB luxury yacht Equanimity

Indonesia handed over the US$250 million Equanimity to Malaysia yesterday. — Screengrab from

Indonesia handed over the US$250 million Equanimity to Malaysia yesterday. — Screengrab from

Equanimity, the US$250 million yacht that has become nearly a symbol for the millions of dollars allegedly misappropriated from Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB, arrived back at Port Klang on Tuesday (Aug 7).

The Malaysian government intends to auction the yacht off should it be legally awarded to them in order to recover some of the funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.

The Cayman Island-registered vessel Equanimity, which is reportedly worth some 250 million Dollars and is owned by Jho Low, a former unofficial adviser to the Malaysian fund 1MDB, sits in waters off Tanjung Benoa on the Indonesia's resort island of Bali on April 4, 2018.

The suits allege that $1.7 billion worth of assets were allegedly bought with the stolen funds, which United States officials are seeking to recover.

The seized superyacht Equanimity, purportedly belonging to fugitive businessman Jho Low, arrived in Port Klang at 12.40pm, August 7, 2018.

Indonesian authorities detained the super-yacht following a request by the US Department of Justice, which is investigating alleged massive misappropriation involving the 1MDB state fund.

"The yacht will be handed over at the border between Indonesia and Malaysia's waters", Daniel Silitonga, deputy director for economic and special crimes at the Indonesian national police force's Criminal Investigation Agency told Reuters.

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They said that this act ignores court rulings in legal proceedings in the USA and Indonesia and that the yacht's owner, Equanimity Cayman Limited, had already filed a claim on this asset, which was ignored by the Malaysian Prime Minister.

Low's whereabouts are unknown but he has previously denied wrongdoing.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad ousted his predecessor Najib Razak in an election in May, and immediately launched an investigation into 1MDB. Najib, who has been questioned by Malaysian anti-graft officers and is barred from leaving the country, has denied any wrongdoing related to 1MDB. However after an hour, a representative of the terminal finally agreed to allow the reporters and photographers in.

Lim said Malaysia's attorney-general was expected to issue a statement on Tuesday regarding the status of the yacht and address concerns that it could affect investigations by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ).

Najib set up 1MDB when he took power in 2009 but it accumulated billions in debts.

Malaysian and worldwide authorities want to question Malaysian financier Jho Low, who the Justice Department alleges was a key figure in the theft and global laundering of $4.5 billion from 1MDB.

The suits allege that US$1.7 billion worth of assets were allegedly bought with the stolen funds, which U.S. officials are seeking to recover.

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