The following is a press release by the legal team on the Equanimity, reproduced in full.
The filings on 19 to 21 December 2018 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California confirmed many things - that the forfeiture action against the Equanimity by the United States of America had been publicised in accordance with the law; and Jho Low’s company Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd had filed a claim to the Equanimity in that action; and that all such claims to the Equanimity have now been withdrawn.
On 15 June 2017, the DOJ filed the forfeiture action against the Equanimity on the basis that Jho Low purchased the Equanimity with funds stolen and embezzled from 1MDB, a Malaysian state-owned company. On 11 October 2017, Equanimity Cayman filed a claim to the Equanimity in that forfeiture action.
Following the change in Government in Malaysia in May 2018, the 1MDB companies rightfully asserted their claim to the Equanimity, consistent with DOJ’s allegations in the forfeiture action, and the Equanimity was arrested by the Admiralty Court in Malaysia. Despite all due process, Jho Low did not enter a claim to the Equanimity, and never challenged the right of the 1MDB companies to assert legal ownership in the Malaysian Court proceedings.
By the withdrawal of that forfeiture action by the DOJ on 21 December 2018, there is now no claim to the Equanimity by either DOJ, or Equanimity Cayman, or Jho Low.
The declaration by the Malaysian Admiralty Court on 19 October 2018 that the Equanimity is owned by the 1MDB companies remains totally unchallenged. It is now clear beyond any doubt that no one has any competing claim to the Equanimity, including Jho Low. Additionally, the judicial sale of the Equanimity by the Malaysian Admiralty Court by law gives clean and clear title to the purchaser, and is recognised in admiralty jurisdictions around the world.
DOJ’s withdrawal of the forfeiture action acknowledges the finality of the declaration of ownership of the Equanimity by the Malaysian Admiralty Court.
In legal terms, Equanimity Cayman and Jho Low have no right to the Equanimity.
Any public assertion of ownership of the Equanimity by the fugitive Jho Low has therefore no value and should be ignored.
Issued by the Legal Team representing the Government of Malaysia in the Equanimity
4 January 2019