1MDB-linked yacht being handed over to FBI: Indonesian police

JAKARTA A luxury yacht linked to the scandal-hit Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB is to be handed over to the FBI, which is probing the matter, Indonesian police said yesterday.

US and Indonesian authorities last week searched the Cayman Island-registered Equanimity, reportedly worth some US$250 million (S$329 million), which was moored off the Indonesian tourist island of Bali.

"(The handing over) is in the process of being done," national police senior detective Daniel Silitonga said.

The ship's captain and about three dozen crew had been questioned but no one has been arrested so far, he said.

The US Justice Department alleges in civil lawsuits that US$4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB - set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak - in a campaign of fraud and money-laundering.

Mr Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing.

The suits list US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with the stolen funds, which US officials are seeking to recover.

Those assets include the 90myacht, which US officials said was purchased by Malaysian financierJho Low, an unofficial adviser to 1MDB.

Malaysia's police chief, however, said there is no link between Low and 1MDB, the Star reported.

The Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said an investigation had already been carried out by the police based on the findings of the Public Accounts Committee in April 2016.

"Based on that investigation, Low never worked for the company nor did he make any business decision for the company.

"All business decisions were made by the 1MDB board of directors," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

IGP Mohamad Fuzi, however, added that action would be taken if any new evidence implicating Low surfaces.

He said the seizure of the yacht was merely a civil forfeiture against Low and not against 1MDB. - AFP, The Star/ANN