Malaysian businessman Jho Low ordered to hand over super yacht in US forfeiture suit related to 1MDB

Malaysian financier Jho Low was ordered to turn over his US$250 million yacht Equanimity to the US authorities who plan to sail it from Indonesia and sell it in the US.
Malaysian financier Jho Low was ordered to turn over his US$250 million yacht Equanimity to the US authorities who plan to sail it from Indonesia and sell it in the US.PHOTOS: AFP, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

LOS ANGELES (BLOOMBERG) - Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho - otherwise known as Jho Low - was ordered to turn over his US$250 million (S$336 million) yacht "Equanimity" to the US authorities who plan to sail it from Indonesia and sell it in the US.

US District Judge Dale Fischer in Los Angeles said Tuesday (May 15) that her ruling doesn't impede on the sovereignty of Indonesia where a court last month returned the 300-foot vessel to Low after finding that local police had improperly seized it at the behest of the FBI.

"This is not a matter of the United States government forcibly seizing property within a foreign country without the proper authority from that country's government," Fischer said.

The trusts that hold title to the "Equanimity" on Low's behalf will be required to turn over the yacht without seizure by the US in Indonesian waters, according to Fischer's ruling.

The trusts can comply with that order, or not, the judge said, "depending on which consequences they prefer."

The trusts were given 30 days to try to challenge the decision because of the unique nature of the proceeding.

The yacht is among more than US$1.5 billion in assets that the US claims Low and his accomplishes acquired with money they siphoned from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd sovereign wealth fund.