PORT KLANG — Aug. 7, 2018: Lawyers acting for the Malaysian government expect the work to identify the owner or owners of superyacht Equanimity to take between six and nine months but the process may take faster if no one admits ownership.
Next week the lawyers will get back to the court for the next course of action to identify the owner or owners, lawyer Jeremy Joseph told reporters after an inspection of the yacht at the Boustead Cruise Centre terminal here today.
For today, the lawyers were here inspect the yacht as soon as it docked at the terminal.
Another lawyer Sitpah Selvaratnam said the team, which spent about two hours on board, found the Equanimity to be in a good condition.
“It has a crew of 17 including the captain. What we did today was basically hand over the warrant (of arrest of the ship) to the captain,” she said, adding that the main objective now was to ensure that it is maintained well and this will be handled by the crew.
The crew, who signed up three years ago, are allowed to come ashore. Maintenance is estimated at RM3 million a month.
The yacht estimated to be worth RM1 billion is believed to have been bought with money siphoned from 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
International authorities are still hunting down the owner, believed to be fugitive Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad thanked Indonesian President Joko Widodo for assistance in handing over the Equanimity, which Indonesian authorities had seized in Bali in February.
In April, an Indonesian court ruled that the yacht should not have been seized and should be returned to its owner. However, the Indonesian government seized it again in July following a request from the United States.
On Saturday, the Indonesian government agreed to hand over the yacht to Malaysia. — Bernama