1MDB-linked superyacht Equanimity docks at Port Klang's Boustead Cruise Centre

Seized luxury yacht Equanimity, belonging to fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, has arrived at Boustead Cruise Terminal in Port Klang, Malaysia, on Aug 7, 2018.
Seized luxury yacht Equanimity, belonging to fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, has arrived at Boustead Cruise Terminal in Port Klang, Malaysia, on Aug 7, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS
Seized luxury yacht Equanimity, belonging to fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, has arrived at Boustead Cruise Terminal in Port Klang, Malaysia, on Aug 7, 2018.
Seized luxury yacht Equanimity, belonging to fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, has arrived at Boustead Cruise Terminal in Port Klang, Malaysia, on Aug 7, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - The luxury yacht which fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho allegedly bought with funds embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has been sighted in waters off Port Klang's Boustead Cruise Centre on Tuesday (Aug 7).

The US$250 million (S$342 million) Equanimity vessel was sighted at around 12.25pm on Tuesday from the compound of the cruise centre.

A source told The Straits Times earlier on Tuesday that it will anchor at the jetty at around 4pm.

The same source said the vessel, which left Batam on Monday to sail to Port Klang, has been escorted by a Malaysian Navy guided missile frigate, KD Jebat, and three smaller marine police vessels after it entered Malaysian waters.

As soon as it docks at the cruise centre, Malaysia’s marine police will take charge of the vessel's security. 

The Straits Times understands that a crew appointed by US Department of Justice arrived with the superyacht.

The source said the Malaysian government has yet to decide if the vessel would be opened for public viewing. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is expected to announce the decision on Wednesday.

"At the moment, the consensus is that media will only be allowed to enter the premises of the cruise centre and take photos from afar, pending a decision by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to allow them on board Equanimity," the source said on Tuesday morning.

"It's a super expensive yacht, (the authorities) wouldn't want the value to depreciate if anything is damaged during the viewing," the source added.

Last Thursday, a raiding party of 13 Indonesian and three Malaysian officials reportedly took control of the 91.5m yacht in Bali, and sailed it from the Tanjung Benoa port to Batam, where it was released to Malaysian police on Monday.

Malaysia's Attorney-General Tommy Thomas is expected to visit the vessel before issuing a statement afterwards. 

"He will have a look-see first... Then tomorrow (Wednesday), the PM is expected to announce whether public viewing for the media is allowed. Until further decision is made, it will be off limits as it's an expensive property," the source said, adding that the vessel will be heavily guarded by a team of police.

Tun Dr Mahathir on Monday (Aug 6) thanked the Indonesian government for facilitating the yacht's handover to Putrajaya. He added that Low, also known as Jho Low, could get the superyacht back if he could prove that he purchased it with his own money.

 
 
 

Equanimity was seized in Bali in February at the request of the US authorities as part of a multi-billion-dollar corruption investigation launched by the US Department of Justice into 1MDB.

In April, a Jakarta court ruled that the seizure of the yacht was illegal but the Justice Department challenged that decision at a Los Angeles court, which later ordered Equanimity Cayman to hand over the yacht to the US authorities.

In July, Indonesian police seized the yacht again following a formal request for legal assistance from the US.

It has been reported that the Indonesian government decided to hand over the yacht to Malaysia following a personal request made by Dr Mahathir, who visited Indonesia in June.

Responding to news that the Equanimity has been handed over to Malaysia, Mr Low said the move was illegal as it ignores court rulings in legal proceedings in the US and Indonesia.