1MDB, two subsidiaries and govt claim ownership over Equanimity

09-Aug-2018 Intellasia | New Straits Times | 6:02 AM Print This Post

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), among others, claimed ownership over Equanimity, the $250 million super yacht linked to Low Taek Jho, which docked at the Boustead Cruise Centre, here, at 1pm today.

Other claimants are two of 1MDB subsidiaries and the government of Malaysia who believe their money was misappropriated in the purchase of the yacht.

In a press conference, Sitpah Selvaratnam, a lawyer representing 1MDB, said the company claimed ownership because they believed their monies had been misused.

“The Admiralty Court had yesterday issued a warrant of arrest against the ship. Reason for the arrest was that the 1MDB Group of Companies claimed ownership to the Equanimity because they believed their monies had been misappropriated and used to purchase the vessel.

“That claim is based on allegation that were filed by the United States’ (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) in June last year. DoJ’s complaint is a verified claim against a penalty of perjury so it carries a lot of weight.

“Based on that allegations, the claim have been initiated and it will go to trial at some point in time before the Admiralty Court,” Sitpah said.

Sitpah added that in this case, the rule of law have been maintained.

“The defendant who claim that they are the registered owners have the opportunity to turn up in court to defend the claim and establish their ownership and that issue will be determined by the Admiralty Court in Kuala Lumpur,” Sitpah added.

Explaining further, Sitpah said the Equanimity is currently under the custody of the court and will be barred from being moved by any parties or have any activities take place without the court’s permission.

The Equanimity’s crew of 17 as well as Norwegian captain, Oystein Senneseth, are not the original members onboard the ship.

All of them, Sitpah said, are doing well and allowed to come out of the vessel and that they will maintain it and know what to do to keep the Equanimity safe.

She said the case will be in court again some time next week.

“This is to get directions on how to maintain the vessel, what happens to the crew and so on, or whether she has to be moved,” added Sitpah, adding that the payment of the crew was one of the things that they are sorting out.

Asked on how many days Equanimity will be docked at the centre, Sitpah added that they will wait and see as the ball is in the defendant’s court.

“The defendants are the registered owner of the vessel and it may depend on what they choose to do.”

Sitpah said they abided by the procedure of arrest which is a civil arrest.

“We had to climb up to the mast of the ship or as high as as possible into the super structure to attach the warrant and writ of summons onto the vessel.We had to go into the bridge of the vessel and leave papers in an enclosed space,” she said.



Category: Malaysia

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