We are pleased to report, on behalf of the Government of Malaysia, the arrival this afternoon in Pulau Indah, that is, within our waters, of the yacht "Equanimity".
The yacht was purportedly owned by businessman Low Taek Jho, the alleged mastermind in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
In a Facebook video, Mahathir thanked Indonesia for returning the $250 million yacht, Equanimity, which was seized by Indonesia off Bali in February in co-operation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Malaysian and global authorities want to question Malaysian financier Jho Low, who the Justice Department alleges was a key figure in the theft and worldwide laundering of US$4.5 billion from 1MDB.
The Malaysian state fund is at the center of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore.
"We believe that this vessel is owned by Malaysia as it was bought by certain quarters using stolen Malaysian funds".
Indonesian authorities impounded the boat on a request from the US Department of Justice, which is seeking to seize $1.7 billion of assets allegedly bought with money looted from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
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"The vessel would be docked in Batam, waiting for further instructions from Jakarta on when it would be handed over to the Malaysian authorities", the source said. Low, whose Malaysia passport has been revoked, has previously denied any wrongdoing.
A luxury yacht allegedly paid for with funds from a multi-billion-dollar scandal that helped topple Malaysia's government arrived outside Kuala Lumpur Tuesday, August 7, with authorities hoping it will help in their prosecution of the country's disgraced former leader.
According to yachtcharterfleet.com, a website for luxury charters, the Equanimity has an interior clad in marble and gold leaf, a spa and sauna, a 20-metre (66-ft) swimming pool, a movie theater, a lift and a helipad.
The 300-foot (90-meter) Equanimity, equipped with pool, helicopter landing pad and cinema, belonged to Jho Low, a flamboyant global financier who allegedly played a central role in the 1MDB controversy that has engulfed former prime minister Najib Razak.
Earlier on Tuesday, claimants to the ownership of the Equanimity filed a petition in a US court contesting the handover of the vessel to Malaysia calling it an "unlawful and extrajudicial" seizure.
Najib, his cronies and family members are accused of stealing huge sums from 1MDB in a sophisticated fraud that spanned the globe.