KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) - Malaysia will have to first prove that the private jet owned by businessman Low Taek Jho, known as Jho Low, was bought with money stolen from the country before it can be brought back from Singapore, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday (Aug 16).
"We have to establish that the jet was bought with stolen money. If he (Jho Low) had stolen money from Malaysia, then the jet is ours, just like the boat (Equanimity)," he said to reporters after an event in Kuala Lumpur.
He was referring to the Equanimity superyacht, allegedly bought by Mr Low with money stolen from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which was handed over by the Indonesian authorities on Aug 6 and is now berthed at Malaysia's Port Klang.
According to media reports, the Bombardier Global 5000 aircraft has been grounded at Singapore's Seletar Aerospace Park since 2017.
The US$35 million (S$48.2 million) jet is believed to form part part of the US$1 billion of assets the US Department of Justice alleges was bought with funds misappropriated from 1MDB.
On Tuesday, a Singapore police spokesman said: "An aircraft that is the subject of ongoing 1MDB-related investigations is parked at Seletar Airport.
"Singapore has not received any formal request from the Malaysian authorities seeking the return of the aircraft."
Tun Dr Mahathir had said previously that Malaysia was in talks with Singapore to take the plane to Malaysia.