Malaysia is auctioning off fugitive Jho Low’s $250 million yacht named Equanimity — a 300-foot vessel the disgraced financier purchased with embezzled funds.
How high bidding goes is anybody’s guess. “All I can say is as high as possible,” said Ong Chee Kwan of Christopher & Lee Ong, who is representing the Malaysian government in the sale, according to Bloomberg. Yacht brokerage Burgess is handling the auction, which is accepting bids between Nov. 4 and 28.
Authorities say Low purchased Equanimity with money he siphoned from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd between 2009 and 2015. The yacht is among $1.7 billion in assets Low purchased with the stolen money. He also took a stake in the Park Lane Hotel and several high-end New York City condos, including a $30 million pad at the Time Warner Center. Low’s private jet also hit the auction block this week with a minimum reserve price of $5.4 million.
In May, a U.S. district judge ordered Low to turn over the vessel so that it could be sailed from Indonesia and sold. It ended up in Malaysia, though it’s unclear how authorities there obtained possession. Low has described Malaysia’s possession as “illegitimate.”
Last month, two former Goldman Sachs bankers were indicted alongside Low in relation to the $4 billion embezzlement scheme. Goldman acted as the primary bond underwriter for the 1MDB fund and made almost $600 million in fees; until now, its bankers faced no charges of wrongdoing. [Bloomberg] – E.B. Solomont