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Indonesia court rules against seizure of super yacht Equanimity

A seized a luxury yacht sought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation is seen off the shore of Banoa, on the resort island of Bali

Syndicated News
Written by Syndicated News

JAKARTA– April 17, 2018: An Indonesian court today ruled that the seizure of luxury yacht Equanimity in Bali end February following a request by the United States was invalid and without legal basis.

On February 28, Indonesian police confiscated the 92-metre Cayman Islands-registered Equanimity as part of a joint operation with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Justice Ratmoho at the South Jakarta District Court, the seizure should have been carried out under the reciprocal legal assistance framework as stipulated by the 2006 law, which gives the mandate to the law and human rights ministry, and not the police. 

The US Department of Justice had earlier alleged that the Equanimity, valued at US$250 million, was among assets purchased by Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho alias Jho Low using funds siphoned from 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Mr Ratmoho also said there has been no court ruling that the owner of the yacht had committed a crime and if there is no (proven) crime, there should not be any confiscation.
 
Bali police had planned to hand over the yacht to the US authorities after the seizure but the company claiming legal ownership of the yacht took the matter to court in Indonesia, citing legal flaws.

Equanimity (Cayman) Limited, which is the legal owner of the vessel and also claimant in the DOJ forfeiture actions, said after the seizure that the DOJ and Indonesian authorities had acted outside the bounds of legal rules.

“We have filed documents in the courts of both countries to demonstrate this,” the company said in a statement released in London.

Mr Andi Simangunsong, a lawyer representing Equanimity Cayman Ltd., told reporters earlier this month that the yacht was not linked to any criminal case in Indonesia, therefore the local police had no authority to seize the vessel.

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