29 Mar 2018
Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, accused of links to a plot to siphon billions of dollars from a Malaysian state fund, is trying to stop the United States government from seizing a $250 million yacht in Indonesia, court filings showed.
The Cayman Islands-flagged Equanimity, a 300-foot superyacht allegedly bought by money stolen from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), was impounded on behalf of U.S. authorities off the coast of Bali last month, amid a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation launched by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ).
The DOJ is seeking to move the yacht to the United States where it can be taken into U.S. government custody and sold, according to a filing at a California court.
The department said Low bought the yacht with funds “stolen and embezzled from 1MDB” and said he is fighting the U.S. seizure through four companies, named as claimants in the case.
The claimants kept the yacht “in a series of foreign locations and frustrated the government’s efforts to bring this asset to the United States”, the DOJ filing said.
“There was significant evidence that Low instructed claimants to keep the Equanimity outside the government’s hands and outside the United States,” it said.
Low’s whereabouts are unknown and a spokesman at a U.S.-based public relations firm that has represented him did not respond to requests for comment.
Link here to the Reuters article.
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