Jho Low’s US$250 million (RM1 billion) superyacht Equanimity is expected to arrive in Port Klang as early as at 10.45am on Tuesday (Aug 7).
- Dr M challenges Equanimity owner to reclaim yacht
- Guan Eng say better to auction off the boat than to let it rot in storage
- The public may get to view some portions of the infamous ship
- Mat Sabu excited about seeing Jho Low’s yacht
It was reported that the vessel received its port clearance from the Batam Marine Department at 2.30pm on Monday (Aug 6), indicating that its next port of call is Port Klang, and left at 4.45pm.
The superyacht was escorted from Batam by the Malaysian marine police vessel KPD Setia.
Global vessel tracking website Vessel Finder showed that the Equanimity crossed the maritime border between Indonesia and Malaysia from Batam between 5.21pm and 5.29pm.
Both vessels were anchored about two nautical miles off the coast of Pengerang in Johor, as of 6pm.
On Aug 2, the yacht sailed from Tanjung Benoa port in Bali.
Although the Equanimity may arrive tomorrow morning, it is also likely that it may make it to Port Klang only by noon as it has to slow down and navigate its way through a small part of the Straits of Singapore and busy Straits of Malacca.
“On average, the entire journey can take anything from 18 hours to 20 hours based on its speed of 15 to 20 knots,” a source told the Malay Mail.
Both the Malacca and Singapore Straits are among the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and the congested maritime traffic in the narrow passageway makes it difficult for vessels to navigate.
It is learnt that a Bukit Aman police team from the Anti-Money Laundering Unit under the Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) will receive the superyacht as it will be seized for investigation under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (Amla) 2001.
Earlier, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad thanked the Indonesian government for its cooperation in handing over the luxury yacht to Malaysian authorities.
Mahathir said investigations by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) had shown that the yacht was purchased with money stolen from 1MBD.
“We believe that the yacht belongs to Malaysians as it was bought by money stolen by 1MDB… Therefore, those who want to claim the yacht, they must provide some proof or receipt that they bought the yacht using their own money,” he said in a Facebook post.
“We want to know where they got so much money to buy such an expensive yacht. If they can prove that it was not purchased with stolen money, they deserve to get it back,” he added.
He also thanked the Indonesian government and its president, Joko Widodo, for the strong cooperation.
Low’s lawyers have said that the Malaysian government’s seizure of the Equanimity is illegal and that the confiscation of the luxury vessel – which they said is owned by Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd – broke an Indonesian law and court decision, besides breaching recent United States court orders.
Equanimity was seized in Bali on February at the request of US authorities as part of a corruption investigation launched by the Department of Justice (DoJ) related to 1MDB.
However, a Jakarta court ruling in April declared the yacht was wrongfully impounded and was released to its owners after they got a court motion to declare the seizure was illegal.
But the vessel was not allowed to leave Tanjung Benoa port.
In July, Indonesian police seized the yacht again following a formal request for legal assistance from the US.
Reuters reported the decision by the Indonesian government to hand over the yacht to Malaysia was reached following a personal request made by Dr Mahathir who visited Indonesia in June.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today he will auction off the Equanimity to recover as much money as possible.
He said selling off the yacht would be the best option as the cost to maintain its docking would be high.
“As the Finance Ministry, we want to realise this asset so we can at least get something back.
“Leaving it there every day means we would have to pay the high maintenance cost. It would also just deteriorate, diminish and depreciate in value.
“If we sell it off, it can benefit Malaysians. It costs RM1 billion but I don’t know how much we can get back,” he told a press conference at Dewan Rakyat lobby here today.
He said the superyacht would be sold off after it was open for public viewing.
“We hope the public will be able to view maybe some portions of the ship, not entirely because there is a lot of valuable items inside. So there must be some sort of control.
“At the end of the day, we just want to collect back as much money as we can from all these assets stolen from Malaysia. Hopefully at the highest price,” he added.
“The attorney-general will ensure all the papers are in order, proper controls are imposed, and if possible, a proper inventory of assets inside,” Lim said.
The A-G will also decide on the vessel’s custodian.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, better known as Mat Sabu, said today he looked forward to the return of the Equanimity to Malaysian shores tomorrow.
“Yes, I’m very proud that Jho Low’s yacht, Equanimity, which is also a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) asset, will return to Malaysia.
“I also do not want to miss out on the experience of viewing the yacht.
“Because before this, we have never had such a grand yacht, so I really want to view it in person,” he jokingly told reporters at the Dewan Rakyat lobby.
Reportedly, the yacht can accommodate 26 guests and has a master suite, three VIP rooms, three double and two twin staterooms.
It also boasts a spa and beach club with sauna, steam room, ‘experiential shows’, a plunge pool, beauty salon and gym.