Indonesia hands over 1MDB-linked luxury yacht to FBI: Police
A luxury yacht linked to allegations that $4.5 billion was looted from Malaysia’s state investment fund 1MDB is being handed over to the FBI, which is probing the scandal, Indonesian police said on March 8.
U.S. and Indonesian authorities last week searched the Cayman Island-registered Equanimity, reportedly worth some $250 million, which was moored off the Indonesian tourist island of Bali.
“[The handing over] is in the process of being done,” national police senior detective Daniel Silitonga told AFP.
The U.S. Justice Department alleges in civil lawsuits that $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB - set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak -- in a campaign of fraud and money-laundering. Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing.
The suits list $1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with the stolen funds, which U.S. officials are seeking to recover.
Those assets include the 90-meter yacht which U.S. officials said was purchased by Malaysian financier known as Jho Low, an unofficial adviser to 1MDB.
The ship’s captain and about three dozen crew had been questioned but no one has been arrested so far, Silitonga said.
“Regarding the crew, we are still discussing it,” he said, when asked if they would be taken into the FBI’s custody.
Built in 2013, the Netherlands-made yacht has nine bedrooms, including a master suite with a hot tub, a helipad, a gym and spa, and a movie theatre, according to yachtcharterfleet.com.