KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia has agreed to hand over to Malaysia a US$250mil (RM1.02bil) luxury yacht linked to a corruption scandal at a Malaysian state fund that it impounded in Bali earlier this year, Indonesian authorities said.
The Cayman Islands-flagged Equanimity was seized in February at the request of US authorities as part of a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation launched by the Department of Justice (DOJ) related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
An Indonesian court ruling in April declared that the yacht was wrongfully impounded and should be released to its owners.
Indonesian police seized the boat again in July following a formal request for legal assistance from the US.
Indonesian police said they would hand the yacht over to Malaysia but did not specify when.
“The yacht will be handed over at the border between Indonesian and Malaysian waters,” Daniel Silitonga, the deputy for economic and special crimes, said yesterday.
“We have to maintain good relations between the two countries,” he said, adding that the yacht was currently in the waters close to the border of Singapore and the Indonesian island of Batam.
A source also said on Friday that the decision to hand the yacht to Malaysia was reached following a personal request made by Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir, 93, had visited Indonesia in June, his first official visit in the region after returning to power.
The vessel is said to have an interior clad in marble and gold leaf, a spa and sauna, a 20m swimming pool on deck, a movie theatre, a lift and a helipad. — Reuters