Malaysian businessman hits out after scandal-linked yacht seized

Malaysian businessman hits out after scandal-linked yacht seized

"We have been inspecting the crew since yesterday and now we are taking action since we have received approval from the court to seize the boat", Agung Setya, director of economic and special crimes at the Indonesia's criminal investigation bureau, told Metro TV.

They used a three-terrabyte drive to copy communications and other information from the ship's sophisticated computers to check the ship's movements, visitors and to determine whether the captain knew the ship was wanted by the United States, according to Silitonga. The FBI say the captain, a South African, is now a suspect in the fraud case.

In August 2017, the DoJ asked for a stay on its civil lawsuits seeking to seize more than US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds because it was conducting a related criminal probe.

Apandi was reported by Malaysiakini as saying that Putrajaya will not seek the return of the Equanimity belonging to Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, who is at the centre of alleged scandals involving the siphoning off 1MDB funds to purchase luxury assets.

USA authorities believe it was bought with some of the $US4.5 billion that was allegedly siphoned from Malaysian Government-owned sovereign wealth fund 1MDB by high-level officials at the fund or their associates - including Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.

Both 1MDB and Mr. Najib have denied wrongdoing and said they would cooperate with any lawful global investigation.

It is alleged the yacht had been bought with $US250 million ($A322 million) of the money allegedly diverted from Malaysian government sources through U.S. financial institutions.

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Indonesian police received a letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on February 21, requesting help to enforce a court order to trace the yacht.

The Wall Street Journal reports the 91m yacht, complete with helipad, had disabled its automated identification system when passing between the Philippines and Singapore to avoid detection.

Over the past 180 days, the Equanimity is believed to have sailed from Malaysia and Singapore to Bali, then to Papua and back. "Whether we can do a joint investigation later or whether we can hand it over later, we are in the process of collecting and investigating".

"We know it's the proceeds of money laundering that have bought not only the boat, but we're aware there's more."

TWO opposition lawmakers have slammed the attorney-general for refusing to act over Indonesia's seizure of luxury yacht Equanimity allegedly bought with 1MDB funds, with one MP filing a motion to discuss the matter when Parliament convenes next week.

Low's whereabouts are unknown and his Hong Kong company has not responded to requests for comment.

Authorities in Bali were yet to reveal how long the yacht will be impounded, what they will do with it, or when the crew will be released.

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