Malaysian businessman Jho Low lambasts US over seizure of luxury yacht in 1MDB probe

Indonesian officials preparing to board the luxury yacht allegedly owned by Malaysian businessman Jho Low.
Indonesian officials preparing to board the luxury yacht allegedly owned by Malaysian businessman Jho Low. PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Businessman Low Taek Jho has criticised the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for not proving that any impropriety had occurred, following the seizure of a luxury yacht allegedly owned by him by Indonesian authorities.

In a statement on Wednesday (Feb 28), a spokesman for Mr Low said the DoJ had stayed asset forfeiture proceedings and had not taken any steps to prove that any impropriety has occurred.

"It is therefore disappointing that, rather than reflecting on the deeply flawed and politically-motivated allegations, the DoJ is continuing with its pattern of global over reach - all based on entirely unsupported claims of wrongdoing.

"We look forward to the Court being presented with the actual facts which demonstrate that the DoJ's case is completely without foundation," the spokesman said.

Earlier, the US$250 million (S$331 million) yacht "Equanimity" was seized on the island of Bali by Indonesian authorities as part of a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation linked to Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

1MDB is at the centre of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore.

In August 2017, the DoJ asked for a stay on its civil lawsuits seeking to seize more than US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds because it was conducting a related criminal probe.

Among the assets sought were a US$250 million luxury yacht bought by Mr Low, named as a key figure in the US lawsuits.