Dr M: US confirms Equanimity bought by Jho Low using 1MDB funds

Kenneth Tee
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad gives a press conference after visiting the Equanimity at the Boustead Cruise Centre Terminal in Port Klang August 11, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

PORT KLANG, Aug 11 — US authorities have confirmed that superyacht Equanimity was purchased by Taek Jho Low using funds stolen from 1MDB, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

“They have identified this boat as being bought with stolen money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and it belonged to Jho Low.

“When you steal money, you have to put it somewhere; so, they buy property and all kinds of things.

“They have documents on this and said if we wanted to keep it, we are entitled to it because it was bought with our stolen money,” the prime minister said after visiting the Equanimity in Pulau Indah.

Dr Mahathir added that the seizure of the Equanimity did not violate any ongoing investigations by the United States authorities.

“(The) only person who wants to take legal action is Low.

“For him to take legal action, he can come and prove to us that it (Equanimity) belongs to him.

“It is very costly, so we want to know where he got the money (to buy it), and when we trace the money, eventually we will find that the money is from 1MDB,” he said in reference to fugitive financier Low Taek Jho.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia has discussed the matter with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the latter has agreed not to take any legal action.

The US$250 million (RM1.02 billion) yacht is currently docked at the Boustead Cruise Centre Terminal after arriving from Indonesia on Tuesday.

The Cayman Islands-flagged Equanimity was seized by Indonesian authorities on February 28 in Bali at the request of US authorities as part of a multi-billion-dollar corruption investigation launched by the US Department of Justice related to 1MDB.