Malaysia gets court order to sell 1MDB-linked superyacht Equanimity

The seized luxury yacht Equanimity is brought to Boustead Cruise Terminal in Port Klang, Malaysia, on Aug 7, 2018.
The seized luxury yacht Equanimity is brought to Boustead Cruise Terminal in Port Klang, Malaysia, on Aug 7, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian government has obtained a court order to sell Equanimity, the US$250 million (S$343 million) superyacht allegedly bought by wanted businessman Low Taek Jho with money stolen from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The Admiralty Court in Kuala Lumpur on Friday (Aug 24) granted the application by the Malaysian government, 1MDB and its two subsidiaries 1MDB Energy Holdings and 1MDB Global Investment to sell the vessel.

Mr Ong Chee Kwan, counsel for 1MDB and its two subsidiaries, explained that they were making the application to sell the vessel first before deciding on the next course of action.

Mr Ong said the vessel was a diminishing asset as the cost of maintaining it was very high, and any proceeds from a sale would be reduced the longer it was left unsold.

The ship's owner, Equanimity of Cayman Islands, was the sole defendant in the suit.

The applicants had asked for the sale of the vessel, bunkers, fuel, lubricants and other consumables on board to be conducted through an open tender or private treaty by the sheriff of the Kuala Lumpur Admiralty Court.

The plaintiffs said proceeds from the sale of the Equanimity should be paid to the court and kept in a bank account in Malaysia approved by the Accountant-General.

 
 
 

The superyacht arrived in Malaysia on Aug 7, after being handed over by the Indonesian authorities on Aug 6.

It was first seized in Bali by the Indonesian authorities in February at the request of the United States Department of Justice as part of its multi-billion-dollar corruption probe of 1MDB.

The DOJ has claimed the yacht was part of US$1 billion worth of assets allegedly purchased with funds misappropriated from 1MDB.