Superyacht linked to Malaysia’s state fund looting scandal sold for $126 million
A superyacht purchased with money pilfered from the Malaysian state fund 1MDB has been sold to casino operator Genting Malaysia Berhad.
The 91.5-meter luxury yacht Equanimity was bought on Wednesday, according to Malaysia’s Attorney General Tommy Thomas as cited by the Star newspaper.
The price offered by Genting was the best it had received since the yacht was put up for sale last year, he said. Genting will pay for it by end of the month.
“This judicial sale at USD$126 million (RM514.14 million), is historic, by any measure,” said Thomas. The deal “records a high-water mark for our judicial system in ensuring that market value is secured for a vessel sold through the processes of Court, without any discount.”
He added that “It is even more commendable that this is achieved in a very sophisticated high-end superyacht sale, where the pool of buyers is extremely small.”Also on rt.com Malaysia reportedly seeking $7.5 billion from Goldman Sachs over looting of state fund
Equanimity was among assets allegedly bought by Malaysia’s fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and his associates with money stolen from the fund. It was allegedly purchased for $250 million and was outfitted with a helipad, swimming pool, movie theatre, spa and sauna.
The US has filed forfeiture lawsuits against $1.7 billion of assets that were allegedly acquired with money embezzled from 1MDB, including a $1.29 million heart-shaped diamond and a $3.8 million diamond pendant that Low gave to Australian model Miranda Kerr. A $3.2 million Picasso painting was gifted by Low to actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Both celebrities have since handed the gifts over to US authorities.
Low, who has repeatedly maintained his innocence, faces charges including money laundering in Malaysia. He has been charged in absentia amid suspicions that he is hiding out in China.
The scandal with the Malaysian state fund has been making headlines for years and is being investigated in at least six countries. It involves high-ranking Malaysian officials including former Prime Minister Najib Razak who have been accused of helping to loot billions from the fund.
Malaysia also wants $7.5 billion in reparations from Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, which it accuses of covering up the looting of the nation’s state fund. Malaysia filed criminal charges against the US bank and two of its key bankers, accusing them of misappropriating money, bribing officials and giving false statements when helping to arrange bond sales for 1MDB. The bank has denied the allegations, claiming it fell victim of the previous corrupt Malaysian government.
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