Battle Over 91 Meter Superyacht Equanimity Jho Low Owns Rages On: Superyacht Equanimity now belongs to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Fund after sailing into Port Klang near the country’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur last week. Fugitive businessman Jho Low, who is the superyacht’s owner, appears to be set for a long drawn-out legal battle with Malaysia over the seizure of the vessel.
The fund’s lawyers succeeded in getting the admiralty court in Kuala Lumpur to arrest her following her arrival there. The Malaysian government secured ownership of the 91-meter Oceanco build through mutual legal assistance (MLA) treaties among Malaysia, Indonesia and the United States. The seizure of Equanimity through the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) is reportedly in accordance with Malaysian laws.
Last week’s actions are the latest in the six-month, multi-country battle concerning the superyacht with the funds that Low allegedly stole from the 1MBD fund going toward her purchase. Equanimity arrived in Malaysia from Indonesia where she had been since an initial arrest in February. At that time, Indonesian police seized her off Bali at the request of the U.S. FBI. Low has vehemently denied allegations that date back to 2015 that he stole millions from 1MDB, however in June 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil case seeking to recover the superyacht. Soon afterward, a U.S. District Court judge in California issued an arrest want for Equanimity.
Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas indicted the seizure was done at the initiative of the U.S. DoJ. The DoJ had earlier suspended its investigation of Low pending Malaysia’s actions. Lawyers representing Low filed a notice in a U.S. court following the seizure, that they were opposed to any suspension of the proceedings and contested the handover of the vessel to Malaysia. AGC lawyers believe it will take six to nine months for the Admiralty Court to determine Equanimity’s ownership.
After the initial seizure in March, Low filed lawsuits in Indonesia and the United States, claiming he yacht’s arrest was illegal. The U.S. DoJ requested that it be named the yacht’s custodian and an American judge the ruled in its favor, clearing the way for Equanimity to be transferred to the United States. The yacht didn’t depart, however, because in April an Indonesian court found that the FBI failed to follow proper procedures for the arrest, as it did not contact Indonesia’s Ministry of Law first to obtain mutual legal assistance. Therefore, the court ruled Low should retain Equanimity. Soon afterward, the DoJ filed for the MLA and Indonesian authorities subsequently arrested Equanimity in July.
Equanimity arrived in Malaysia following her release by Indonesian authorities. So, what is the ultimate aim of this new seizure by Malaysian authorities? The handover was a result of the MLA treaties and a desire among Indonesian and American authorities to see what Malaysia intends to do with the yacht. The DoJ indicates it will suspend its efforts until a decision is made. Keeping the yacht in will be an expensive proposition for the Malaysian government as it is estimated that it will cost over $750,000 monthly to maintain.
As Equanimity arrived escorted by security and other security, a throng of media and curious onlookers lined the shores Port Klang. Malaysia’s finance minister has indicated that the government will inventory Equanimity’s effect and will eventually sell her “at the highest price.” A sheriff of the Admiralty Court allegedly served the warrant by climbing up and placing the warrant as high as possible on the mast.
A lawyer for 1MDB says the fund claims ownership of Equanimity as they believe their money was misappropriated. It is alleged that Low and his associates took $4.5 billion from 1MDB. Money-laundering problems are underway in several countries, including the United States. The DoJ says Low bought the superyacht, art and more with some of the stolen money.
The register owner of the yacht, Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd., released a statement claiming that Malaysia has violated both Indonesian and U.S. court decisions and that the turnover is unlawful and extrajudicial.
According to the Strait Times, an English-language daily newspaper based in Singapore, the 18-member multinational Equanimity crew had only been working on the superyacht for three weeks prior to sailing to Malaysia. Captain Oystein Senneseth, a Norwegian, has said that crewmembers will stay with the vessel but are free to disembark and return as and when required.
Check out Hundreds Of New Yachting Articles Updated Daily On the 4Yacht Blog
4Yacht is a Professional Yacht Broker Located In Fort Lauderdale Florida and specializes in Yachts, Mega Yachts, And SuperYachts.. Visit our website today to discover YOUR next yacht https://www.4yacht.com