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Judge orders Equanimity owner to forfeit yacht to US

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Malayasian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, was ordered on Tuesday (May 15) to turn over his $250 million yacht, M/Y Equanimity, to U.S. officials, who claim he bought it with money siphoned from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd sovereign wealth fund, according to Bloomberg News.

A federal judge in Los Angeles issued the order on the Justice Department’s request to get custody of the yacht, which was in Indonesia. U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer initially ruled in April that the ship could be sailed to the U.S. from Bali, but a court in Jakarta later found that the police hadn’t followed proper procedures and ordered the yacht returned. A lawyer for the trusts that own the yacht for Low’s benefit will comply with a final and binding court order to turn over the yacht, Bloomberg has reported.

The U.S. and Low’s lawyers are negotiating a sale of Equanimity, a 300-foot (91.5m) Oceanco launched in 2014, while the forfeiture lawsuit is unresolved, but are divided on whether the transaction should take place in the U.S. or in the Mediterranean, which the trusts argue is a superior market for megayachts.

Read more from Bloomberg here and here.

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