Seize luxury yacht bought with 1MDB-linked funds, Pua tells govt

A+, formerly known as Topaz, is said to be worth RM2.93 billion.

PETALING JAYA: A DAP MP today urged Putrajaya to file an international suit to seize a luxury yacht purchased with funds linked to 1MDB.

In a statement, Damansara MP Tony Pua said the yacht, formerly known as Topaz and worth RM2.93 billion, should be auctioned off with the proceeds repatriated to Malaysia.

Singapore’s Straits Times previously reported that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) had confirmed that the yacht, now known as A+, was purchased with funds linked to 1MDB.

It was not stated if the DoJ would seek to stake a claim on the yacht as part of its ongoing 1MDB asset forfeiture exercise.

According to the DoJ, fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, chartered A+ at least five times between 2013 and 2014 at various locations.

Pua today said the previous Pakatan Harapan-led administration had a strong relationship with the DoJ, resulting in the repatriation of RM2.1 billion worth of seized assets in cash.

“This does not include the assistance provided by the DoJ in the seizure of another yacht, the Equanimity, which was subsequently auctioned for US$126 million (RM538 million),” he said, adding that he was confident the proceeds from the seizure of new claims would also be repatriated to Malaysia.

Despite the revelation that 1MDB-linked funds had contributed towards the acquisition of A+, which was purchased by a private firm, Oceanus Maritime, in 2012, Pua said no claims on A+ had been made to date.

“We call upon the Malaysian government to immediately file an international suit against the Oceanus Maritime to demand the return of the misappropriated US$160.9 million and additional appropriate compensation.

“Should Oceanus Maritime fail to do so, we must demand the seizure of A+ as we did the Equanimity and carry out an international auction of the luxury mega-yacht,” he said, adding that the proceeds from this must be put towards the repayment of 1MDB’s debts.

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