Indonesia seizes yacht wanted by US in probe of Malaysian fund

Indonesian officials prepare to board the luxury yacht ‘Equanimity’, reportedly worth some 250 million USD and owned by Jho Low, a former unofficial adviser to the Malaysian fund 1MDB, at Benoa Bay in Bali. A luxury yacht sought by US authorities was seized off the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, with the vessel reportedly linked to a corruption scandal at Malaysia’s state investment fund. (AFP)
Updated 28 February 2018

Indonesia seizes yacht wanted by US in probe of Malaysian fund

JAKARTA: Indonesia has seized a luxury yacht on the tourist island of Bali that is wanted by US authorities as part of a probe into alleged multibillion-dollar corruption at Malaysian state investment fund 1MBD.
Metro TV on Wednesday showed local police and what it identified as FBI officers on board the sleek 92-meter (300 foot) vessel, Equanimity, moored off Bali.
In June, the US Justice Department filed a civil case seeking recovery of $540 million in assets, including the yacht, that it says were stolen from 1MDB, a fund set up by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that was intended to promote economic development. Overall, the Justice Department says more than $4.5 billion was stolen from the fund.
Agung Setya, director of economic crimes at Indonesia’s national police, told Metro TV that local authorities began working with US authorities a week ago in relation to the vessel. He said it was located on Tuesday in waters off the island of Lombok, which neighbors Bali, and then shifted to Bali’s Tanjung Benoa waters.
“We have legal confirmation that this asset is the result of a crime,” he said. “Our law stipulates that anyone who hides an asset resulting from the proceeds of crime is committing a money-laundering crime.”
Setya said the police had secured a court order to seize Equanimity and are questioning its 34 crew. He said the yacht is worth about $250 million.
The Justice Department alleges the yacht was bought by Jho Low, an associate of Najib who had no formal role at 1MBD but considerable influence over the organization, for his personal use. It was among the more than $400 million that the department accuses Low of stealing himself.
Najib was embroiled in the scandal when it emerged that nearly $1 billion had passed through his personal bank accounts. He and the fund deny any wrongdoing.
Yacht chartering sites say Equanimity has an Asian-themed interior, a swimming pool, movie theater, helicopter landing pad and other luxury amenities.


Saudi Arabia, Iraq confirm full commitment to OPEC+ agreement- statement

Updated 13 min 14 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Iraq confirm full commitment to OPEC+ agreement- statement

  • Both countries ministers said efforts by OPEC+ to meet their output cuts will enhance market stability

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Iraq on Monday confirmed their full commitment to the OPEC+ agreement.
Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, and Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail held discussions on developments in the oil markets, the improved global demand for oil, and progress in implementing the current OPEC+ agreement to reduce production.
OPEC and its allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed to cut oil output from May by a record 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) after the coronavirus crisis destroyed a third of global demand.
The record cuts are now due to run to the end of July, before tapering to 7.7 million bpd until December.
But some OPEC members have not fully delivered on their agreed production cuts since May.
During a phone call, the Saudi minister commended Iraq’s performance within the framework of the agreement, as the country’s level of commitment in June reached nearly 90 percent.
Prince Abdulaziz thanked the Iraqi minister for his efforts in reaching the target, and expressed his confidence that Iraq will continue to improve its level of compliance with the oil cuts.
Ismail said Iraq would continue to improve compliance with the cuts to reach 100 percent by the start of August, pledging to compensate from July to September for the overproduction in May and June.
Both ministers also said that efforts by OPEC+, and the participating countries in the agreement, to meet their output cuts would enhance market stability and speed up their balanced recovery.

  • With Reuters