The superyacht that has “George Town” inscribed on its back is going to give hundreds of millions back to Malaysia.
According to The Star, the luxurious vessel Equanimity that was allegedly bought by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, would be sold at a nine-digit figure before March 31, 2019.
The announcement was made by lawyer Sitpah Selvaratnam who represents the Attorney-General’s Chamber in the yacht case. She said the Sheriff of the Admiralty Court would be seeking necessary orders from the court before beginning the second phase of the judicial sale by private treaty for the closing of the sale no later than March 31.
“The nine-digit asking price will be available on application, once approval of court is obtained, and will be commensurate with a 4 1/2-year-old Oceanco built luxury yacht, with the specifications of the Equanimity as she lies,” said the 1MDB case lawyer.
The nine-digit selling price is in the hundred million, a digit away from one billion – RM1,000,000,000. Equanimity was reportedly purchased at RM1 billion (or US$250m) by Jho Low with funds tracing from the 1MDB. With this announcement, the vessel is most likely sold at a depreciated price.
The bidding for the Equanimity began on Oct 29 and it lasted until Nov 28. The decision to sell the vessel off came after its registered owner failed to appear in court to claim the vessel. During that time, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that anyone who claimed to be the vessel’s righteous owner is welcome to challenge it in Malaysia’s court.
On Oct 19, High Court declared that the government and 1MDB were the beneficiary owners and that the government was given the rights to sell the 91-metre yacht.
Sitpah said the Sherrif has considered the various aspects of the offers received from the one-month bidding. The Sherrif believed that by going to the next stage of the judicial sale process would help to fetch the optimum price for the Equanimity.
The 3,000 tonnes (or the weight of nine airplanes) vessel anchored on Malaysia’s shore on Aug 7, in Port Klang. It was seized by the Indonesian authorities in Bali on Feb 28 earlier this year under Department of Justice (DoJ) of the United States’ instruction.
The Sun Daily reported that it had cost the government RM3.5 million to maintain the superyacht back in August.
Watch how the Equanimity looks from the inside in a video on the next page.