14 Aug 2018
Malaysia is seeking to repossess a $35 million (£27.3 million) private jet owned by financier Low Taek Jho as part of investigations into a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said.
The financier, also known as Jho Low, bought the Bombardier Global 5000 jet for $35.4 million in 2010 using funds allegedly taken from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has said.
Authorities in Malaysia and the United States are investigating how billions of dollars went missing from 1MDB.
The DOJ says over $4.5 billion was misappropriated from the fund, with some of the money used to buy the private jet, a superyacht, Picasso paintings, jewellery and real estate.
Last week, the $250 million superyacht Equanimity, which the DOJ says was also bought by Jho Low, was handed over to Malaysia by Indonesia, which had seized the asset earlier this year.
When asked if Malaysia would also seek to take possession of the Bombardier jet, Mahathir said: “Yes, I think so. We have to bring it back,” state news agency Bernama reported on Sunday.
The jet was grounded last year in Singapore, according to some media reports.
Aviation services firm Jet Aviation said a Bombardier Global 5000 with the same registration number as the one identified by DOJ was at its facility at Seletar Airport in Singapore.
A spokeswoman for Jet Aviation said the firm was “working closely with the local authorities”.
She declined to say how the firm came to be in possession of the aircraft.
– Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi and John Geddie, Reuters, 13 August 2018.
Link to Reuters.
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