KUALA LUMPUR • The Malaysian authorities will begin a month-long auction of the luxury yacht Equanimity, which belonged to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, on Monday, the lawyer for state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said.
Mr Ong Chee Kwan, 1MDB's counsel, confirmed the sale after meeting High Court (Admiralty Court) Judicial Commissioner Khadijah Idris in chambers yesterday.
"Those who are interested to bid need to pay US$1 million (S$1.38 million) as deposit," he said.
Also present were counsel Jeremy Joseph and Senior Federal Counsel Alice Loke, who acted for the government.
The judgment came after the yacht's registered owner failed to appear in court to claim the vessel.
Besides 1MDB, the scandal-plagued state investment fund, and the Malaysian government, the other two plaintiffs are 1MDB Energy Holdings and 1MDB Global Investment, which are 1MDB subsidiaries.
The Cayman Islands-flagged Equanimity was handed over to Malaysia by the Indonesian authorities in August after it was impounded in Bali at the request of the United States authorities as part of a kleptocracy probe that traced billions of dollars taken from 1MDB.
The 91m yacht was allegedly bought by Low, also known as Jho Low, with funds diverted from 1MDB, according to lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice.
The vessel has an interior clad in marble and gold leaf, a spa and sauna, a 20m swimming pool, a movie theatre, a lift and a helipad, according to a website for luxury charters, yachtcharterfleet.com.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK