Equanimity heavily guarded

Norzamira Che Noh

PORT KLANG: Super yacht Equanimity allegedly linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low is now heavily guarded by the authorities.

An attempt by NSTP to view the yacht up close at the Boustead Cruise Centre terminal failed as no individuals are allowed into the terminal except for enforcement officers on duty and tourists boarding cruise ships.

The front entrance to the cruise ship terminal is also closed and it is learned that the super yacht is guarded by the police and Armed Forces.

However, tourist activities for cruise ships are going on as usual with vans ferrying tourists allowed to enter the terminal area.

The High (Admiralty) Court yesterday granted an application by the government, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and its subsidiaries to sell Equanimity.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Khatijah Idis meted out the judgment in chambers under Order 29 Rule 4 of the Rules of Court 2012.

According to counsel Ong Chee Kwan who represented all the plaintiffs, Khatijah said the order was made due to the security of the yacht and its cost of maintenance.

He said the RM1 billion vessel was expected to be sold by the end of the year, pending litigation on ownership of the yacht.

It was reported on Aug 23 that 1MDB, its two subsidiaries, 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited and 1MDB Global Investment Limited and the government filed a court order seeking to expedite the sale of the vessel.

The plaintiffs named the owner of the ship, Equanimity of Cayman Islands, as the defendant in the suit filed via the law firm of Jeremy Joseph & Partners.

In the notice of application, the four plaintiffs are asking for the sale of the ship, bunkers, fuel, lubricants and other consumables on board to be conducted via public tender or private treaty by the Admiralty Court sheriff.

The firms want the sheriff to receive bids or offers for the vessel and the bunkers and for the purchase price to be paid to the sheriff in US dollars or euros or ringgit.

The firms said the proceeds from the sale of the vessel should be paid into court and placed in a bank account in Malaysia as approved by the Accountant-General.

A writ of summons was issued on Aug 6 to the “owner of the vessel“, as well as to Wilson Yacht Management Ltd, the company that operates Equanimity.

The superyacht was brought to Malaysia on Aug 7 after the Indonesian authorities handed it to Malaysia.

It was seized off Bali in February at the request of the US authorities as part of the corruption investigation launched by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) into 1MDB. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd