Equanimity seized by Indonesian authorities
by Chris Jefferies
According to widespread reports, the 91.5 metre superyacht Equanimity has been seized by Indonesian authorities. The whereabouts of the yacht have been unclear since its AIS tracking system was switched off on January 1 and it has been alleged that the captain was intentionally trying to evade capture.
The US Department of Justice has been pursuing this case since 2016, and the Wall Street Journal reports that a breakthrough was made last week (Feburary 28) when the yacht was detained in Bali.
The US authorities believe that the funds used to purchase Equanimity were siphoned off from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB between 2009 and 2015. As well as the Oceanco-built yacht, it is understood that the money was used to buy the rights to several Hollywood movies, including The Wolf of Wall Street and Dumb and Dumber To.
However, the ownership of Equanimity has been thrown into doubt after a speech given by Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, Mayalsia's communication and multimedia minister, at the Malaysia Fintech Expo 2018 today (March 5). "If you look at the documents, including the Department of Justice summons, it is only an accusation on who the owner is. There is no evidence linking 1MDB to the ship’s purchase," he said.
Malaysian businessman Jho Low, who is heavily linked to the case, told the Financial Times last year: “The US Department of Justice’s latest move continues its inappropriate efforts to seize assets despite not having proven that any improprieties have occurred.”
As well as the US, there are currently six other countries investigating irregularities related to the 1MDB fund, including Switzerland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Launched in the Netherlands in 2014, Equanimity was the first superyacht to be built to the new PYC standard. As a result, she can accommodate up to 26 guests, as well as 28 crew members.
Her twin 4,828hp MTU 20V4000 M73 diesel engines propel her to a top speed of 19.5 knots. When trimmed back to her cruising speed of 16 knots, Equanimity boasts a globetrotting range, thanks to her total fuel capacity of 271,000 litres.