Ship manager will be appointed to manage Equanimity in due course — lawyer

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PORT KLANG (Aug 8): Lawyer Jeremy Joseph who is representing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said a qualified and a competent ship manager will be appointed in due course to manage the luxury superyacht Equanimity throughout its seizure period at Port Klang.

He said a security manager was needed to take care of the needs of the captain and the 17 crew members of the vessel, which arrived here yesterday.

“What is important now is to make sure we appoint a qualified and competent ship manager (company) to manage the vessel during the arrest period.

“We also want to ensure that security is tight for the vessel throughout its berth at the Boustead Cruise Centre terminal,” he told reporters after attending a two-hour long meeting with representatives from the police force and Malaysian Navy at the centre here today.

The yacht, reportedly worth RM1 billion, arrived at the centre yesterday and is believed to be part of the assets purchased using funds from 1MDB.

Its purported owner, businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, is also being sought to assist in the investigation into 1MDB.

Commenting further, Joseph said the appointment of the ship manager would be done through a court process where the sheriff of the Admiralty Court would make a final decision on the matter.

He also said that Equanimity would be sold through a court process called judicial sale to the highest bidder.

“We don't want to keep the vessel for too long because the longer you keep it, the more it will depreciate in value,” he said.

Joseph is part of a six-lawyer team led by Sitpal Selvaratnam, who were appointed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, to initiate an Admiralty In Rem suit, as soon as the Equanimity docked at the centre yesterday.

(An action in rem is an action directly against property as a defendant.)