Equanimity captain speaks: We’re happy to bring the ship back to Malaysia

Oystein Senneseth. -Photo by Kamarul Ariffin/The Star

Oystein Senneseth. -Photo by Kamarul Ariffin/The Star

PORT KLANG: The crew of the Equanimity is pleased to bring the superyacht back to Malaysia, says its captain.

Oystein Senneseth, who is from Bergen, Norway said that the crew was relaxed now compared to before when there were armed policemen on board.

“To be honest, in the beginning we were a little worried ... (it was) a new situation for everybody.

“But after a while they got more used to it and settled (down),” he told reporters on Wednesday (Aug 8) at the Boustead Cruise Centre here, where the Equanimity is docked.

There are 18 multinational crew members who have been working on the superyacht for just three weeks now.

Senneseth said the Malaysian Government and the authorities have been nice and helpful, which he appreciated.

“It is a new experience and for me it's important to do a good job,” he said, adding that the crew were free to go anywhere as there was nobody on board the superyacht.

The Equanimity, which allegedly belongs to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, docked at the Centre at 1pm on Tuesday (Aug 7) accompanied by four Marine Police patrol boats.

The vessel was seized in Bali in February at the request of US authorities as part of a multibillion-dollar corruption investigation launched by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

However, a Jakarta court ruling in April ruled in favour of the owners after they applied for a court motion to declare the seizure as illegal.

In July, Indonesian police seized the yacht again following a formal request for legal assistance from the United States.

Reuters reported the decision by the Indonesian government to hand over the superyacht to Malaysia was reached following a personal request by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had visited Indonesia in June.

Dr Mahathir on Monday thanked Indonesia for its cooperation and said that if Jho Low could prove he had purchased the billion-ringgit luxury vessel with his own money, he could get it back.

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Equanimity , 1MDB , Jho Low , Seizure , Mahathir Mohamad