Jho Low asks US to explain Malaysian thanks for seized yacht

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LOS ANGELES (Aug 10): Lawyers for Jho Low want the US to explain why Malaysia is thanking it profusely for helping to seize his US$250 million yacht after the Justice Department has said it wasn’t involved in turning over the vessel.

The lawyers, who represent the companies that hold title to Low’s yacht, on Thursday asked a federal judge in Los Angeles to order the Justice Department to provide a "thorough clarification" whether US agencies or officials knew in advance or were involved in transferring the "Equanimity" to Malaysia.

The Malaysian Attorney General said in a statement two days ago that "sensitive and delicate negotiations" were conducted between Indonesia, where the yacht was anchored, Malaysia and the US to accomplish the transfer. A Justice Department spokesman had said the US wasn’t a party to the agreement between Indonesia and Malaysia.

The yacht is among more than US$1.5 billion in assets that the US claims were acquired by Low, a Malaysian financier also known as Low Taek Jho, and his accomplices with money they siphoned from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd fund. US District Judge Dale Fischer in May had ordered Low to hand over the 300-feet vessel to the US so it could be sailed from Indonesia and sold. Instead, it arrived in Malaysia Aug 7.

The case is US v. All Right and Title to the Yacht M/Y Equanimity, 17-cv-04441, US District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).