Najib: Go after Jho Low if Equanimity bought with stolen funds

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks to reporters at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 13, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, must be held accountable if he purchased the RM1 billion Equanimity superyacht with embezzled money, said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The vessel was handed over to Malaysia by Indonesian authorities who seized the Equanimity pursuant to a court order issued in the US as part of the country’s kleptocracy action over assets allegedly obtained using stolen 1MDB funds.

“I have said if it is done illegally, if the yacht is obtained in a manner that is illegal, in a sense that money that is not due to him has been used, as been alleged, then he has to be accountable for it, that has always been my position,” Najib told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

The super yacht is now berthed at the Boustead Cruise Centre in Port Klang.

When asked if Low should return to Malaysia to answer the allegations against him, Najib said he said he would support this if all legal requirements are met.

Low is wanted by Malaysian authorities for his suspected role in the 1MDB corruption scandal, but has so far managed to keep his precise location hidden.

“Everything that needs to be done has to be on the basis of rule of law.

“I’ve already said no one is above the law and whoever has done anything wrong, the force of law should take its course,” Najib said.

The former PM then disavowed any links to the Equanimity, saying it was up to the Penang tycoon to try and legally reclaim the yacht if the latter felt the confiscation to be unlawful.

An unnamed spokesman for Low previously questioned the legality of the seizure and insisted that the US has not proven that the RM1.02 billion yacht was bought with money “stolen” from 1MDB.