Wednesday, 20 February, 2019


Malaysia: Indonesia returns yacht at centre of graft probe

Malaysia: Indonesia returns yacht at centre of graft probe Malaysia: Indonesia returns yacht at centre of graft probe
Bennie Garza | 07 August, 2018, 18:40

Indonesia handed over to Malaysia on Monday a $250 million luxury yacht, impounded earlier this year as part of an global hunt for assets purchased with billions of dollars allegedly siphoned off from state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

In a Facebook video, Mahathir thanked Indonesia's government and President Joko Widodo for returning the US$250 million (AUD$337 m) yacht, Equanimity, which was seized by Indonesia off Bali in February in cooperation with the US FBI.

He said Malaysian officials took custody of Equanimity on the Indonesian island of Batam near Singapore.

"On the vessel's expected arrival to Malaysia, it said: "[The] safest we can say is within 48 hours".

The $250m boat was allegedly bought with money stolen from 1MDB.

Last month, Najib was arrested and charged with abuse of power and criminal breach of trust related to an alleged transfer of 42 million ringgit (£7.9 million) into his personal bank account from SRC International, a former unit of state fund 1MDB.

On Saturday, the Indonesian government agreed to hand over the yacht to Malaysia. U.S. investigators said Low bought the yacht with proceeds diverted from 1MDB.

The DoJ has sought to take custody of the Equanimity, after it was seized by Indonesia in February at the request of USA authorities as part of a multi-billion dollar anti-kleptocracy investigation into 1MDB.

"The Court issued a Warrant of Arrest against it", he said in a statement today.

Mahathir said anyone who wants to claim ownership of the yacht must show proof that the vessel was not bought with stolen funds.

"At the end of the day, the yacht must be sold off" so that Malaysia can recover as much money as possible from it, Lim said.

"The Mahathir regime's illegal act today, ignoring court rulings in legal proceedings in the USA and Indonesia, prove he has no interest in a fair and just process", he said in a statement Monday.

Among Malaysia's agencies involved in the operation were the Royal Malaysia Police, the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Attorney-General's Chambers, he said.

Hishammuddin Hussein says Malaysia lost a good chance to join the global fight against terrorism by closing the Saudi-backed King Salman Centre for International Peace.

The Equanimity's lavish amenities include a helicopter landing pad, plunge pool, gymnasium and a cinema.

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