Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Former Malaysian PM faces new charge of money laundering

Former Malaysian PM faces new charge of money laundering

STATE investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd, under a new management, has laid claim to the Equanimity, said lawyer Sitpah Selvaratnam, in a departure from its former refusal to be linked to the yacht.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has thanked Indonesian President Joko Widodo and the Indonesian government for their assistance in handing over to Malaysia the "Equanimity" which the Indonesian authorities had seized.

"That is why we are calling him again today (Aug 7) to record his statement for tomorrow's proceedings", a source told The Star.

Earlier, the US Department of Justice (DoJ), which had sought custody of Equanimity as part of its anti-kleptocracy investigation into 1MDB, said it has suspended its investigation pending Malaysia's action.

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It's rich that Low's legal representation calls out the "illegitimate" seizure of the yacht but conveniently overlooks the illegitimate plundering of nearly US$700 million from the nation's wealth fund.

Domestic agencies involved in this operation were the Police, Navy, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and AGC, Thomas said.

The U.S. Justice Department, one of several foreign agencies investigating money stolen and laundered from the 1MDB fund, had listed the yacht among assets it could seize and sell to recover stolen funds.

Low has previously denied any wrongdoing. Malaysia has issued an arrest warrant for Low, but his whereabouts are known.

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While the statement confirmed that the questioning was related to the investigation into Najib's role in SRC International, a former unit of state fund 1MDB, it added that he will face new charges under the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Illegal Activities Act.

The Cayman Island-registered vessel Equanimity, which is reportedly worth some 250 million Dollars and is owned by Jho Low, a former unofficial adviser to the Malaysian fund 1MDB, sits in waters off Tanjung Benoa on the Indonesia's resort island of Bali on April 4, 2018.

Civil lawsuits filed by the DOJ listed a total of US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.

He also said that he did not know who the owner of the luxury vessel was.

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