Malaysia obtained warrant to seize Equanimity, says AG

PETALING JAYA: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas says superyacht Equanimity, allegedly bought by businessman Low Taek Jho with money siphoned from investment fund 1MDB, was confiscated with a warrant of seizure issued by a Malaysian court.

Thomas said the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had invoked the admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court in Kuala Lumpur against the yacht and obtained the warrant yesterday.

“Accordingly, the Equanimity was properly seized under the laws of Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.

He said the US$250 million (RM1 billion) vessel arrived this afternoon at Pulau Indah, Port Klang.

The yacht was seized by Indonesian authorities in Bali on Feb 28 this year on an application by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Thomas said the seizure was done at the initiative of the DoJ, which asserted ownership of the yacht on behalf of Malaysia and 1MDB “because monies belonging to us were used to purchase it”.

After the seizure, he said, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLAs) between Indonesia, the US and Malaysia were activated.

“Sensitive and delicate negotiations were conducted at the highest levels of different agencies in the three countries to accomplish this feat,” he added.

He said the Malaysian agencies involved in this operation included the Malaysian police, Royal Malaysian Navy, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the AGC.

“We would like to express our profound gratitude to the governments of Indonesia and the US, especially the Indonesian police, for extending cooperation and collaboration to us to enable this to be accomplished,” he said.