Dr Mahathir thanks Indonesia as Jho Low's yacht Equanimity enters Malaysian waters

PORT KLANG - The RM1 billion (S$334.9 million) Equanimity is expected to arrive here at noon on Tuesday (Aug 7), according to sources.

The vessel received its port clearance from the Batam Marine Department at 2.30pm Monday (Aug 6), indicating that its next port of call is Port Klang, the source said.

The source said at least four Malaysian policemen would accompany the ship and her crew to Malaysia.

"The ship would be leaving Batam this evening after it had been handed over to senior Malaysian marine police officers who were already in Batam to receive the vessel," added the source.

The superyacht arrived in Batam island in Indonesia on Monday morning.

It was supposed to head for the Batu Ampar port but had been diverted and anchored near the Pulau Nong lighthouse at the entrance to Tering Bay around 9.30am.

The yacht sailed from Tanjung Benoa port in Bali on Thursday (Aug 2).

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad thanked Indonesia for the good news, though he said if fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, could prove that he had purchased the billion-ringgit yacht with his own money, he could get it back.

Low's lawyers said Monday that Dr Mahathir Mohamad's “illegal” act of bringing the Equanimity back to Malaysia proves he has no interest in a fair and just process.

They said that this act ignores court rulings in legal proceedings in the US and Indonesia and that the yacht’s owner, Equanimity Cayman Limited, had already filed a claim on this asset, which was ignored by the Malaysian Prime Minister. 

“Further proceedings have been issued today in response to this illegal act. 

“Mahathir has chosen to bring the asset illegally into a rigged Malaysian system manipulated by a man who only cares about his absolute political rule. It is ultimately justice that suffers,” they claimed in a statement on Monday (Aug 6). 

The Equanimity was seized in Bali in February at the request of US authorities as part of a multibillion-­dollar corruption investigation launched by the Department of Justice over 1MDB.

However, a Jakarta court ruling in April declared that the yacht was wrongfully impounded and it was released to its owners after they obtained a court motion to declare that the seizure was illegal.

But the vessel was not allowed to leave the Tanjung Benoa port.

Last month, Indonesian police seized the yacht again following a formal request for legal assistance from the United States.

Reuters reported that 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.

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