A $250 million super yacht is at the center of a new money-laundering story. The quarter-of-a-billion-dollar boat is believed to be the property of Jho Low, a Malaysian financier with close ties to disgraced and defeated former Prime Minister Najib Razak.
As news of Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal continues to unfold under the auspices of a new prime minister, some of the details are mind boggling. Just this week, Malaysia issued a warrant to confiscate Jho Low’s super yacht, which was at port in Indonesia.
The Lifestyle Asia website shows photos of the yacht, name Equanimity, and describes it as suitable for 26 guests and 28 crew. Guests can enjoy a spa, pools, gymnasium, helipad, staterooms, master suites, and much more.
Part of a U.S. and Malaysia effort to find and repatriate billions allegedly stolen from the nation’s 1MBD development fund, the seizure of the yacht has drawn court challenges from people who claim interest in the yacht. The U.S. is part of the process due to its efforts to fight kleptocracy and return stolen funds to the national treasuries from which they came.
Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s newly elected prime minister, is attempting to recover $4.5 billion that went missing from the fund and that is believed to have been laundered through banks around the world. Former Prime Minister Najib remains at the center of allegations of money laundering and theft from the fund, and he was officially charged this week with money laundering and related crimes.
Malaysia has issued an arrest warrant for Jho Low, but his whereabouts are currently unknown. Malaysian officials have indicated that the yacht will be made available for public viewing and then sold.
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