1MDB-linked yacht Equanimity to be auctioned off by year end

The Equanimity is currently docked at the Boustead Cruise Centre in Port Klang, having arrived there on Aug 7. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Admiralty Court has approved the appointment of a central broker and an appraiser for the Equanimity, paving the way for the sale of the superyacht.

Judicial Commissioner Khadijah Idris made the order after hearing submissions by lawyers representing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the government on Friday (Oct 5).

"The vessel is going to come out for sale pretty soon," lawyer Sitpah Selvaratnam told The Star Online on Friday.

"The appraiser will evaluate the fair value of the vessel, while a central broker will be tidying up all the advertisements and so on."

"The buyers will be interested to know the features and the condition of the vessel."

Ms Sitpah, who is representing 1MDB, said they hoped to see the US$250 million (S$346 million) Equanimity go up for sale by the second week of November.

"There will be a period of maybe one month that she will be open, and the courts will be receiving bids up to, maybe, early December."

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"We hope the bids we get will be accepted by the court. One of them will be the highest. We hope we can accept something, and that we conclude the sale and she leaves the waters by the end of December," she said.

When asked if there would be buyers for the superyacht, Ms Sitpah expressed confidence.

She added that the supposed owner of the yacht, businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, had not appeared to challenge the sale of the superyacht.

In August, the Malaysian authorities charged Low with money laundering and issued a warrant of arrest against him. He remains at large.

The Equanimity is currently docked at the Boustead Cruise Centre in Port Klang, having arrived there on Aug 7 after being handed over to Malaysia by the Indonesian authorities.

The vessel was seized off the coast of Bali by Indonesia in February at the request of the US authorities as part of a multibillion-dollar corruption probe launched by the US Department of Justice into 1MDB.

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