Malaysia’s Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told reporters on Monday that the government planned to take inventory of items on the Equanimity yacht before putting for sale at the “highest price.”
The 91 meter (300-foot) yacht is registered to fugitive Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.
Lim said the authorities will open the yacht for public viewing, before eventually selling it “at the highest price”.
Jho Low is one of the main actors in the 1MDB scandal. A total of $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates, the US Justice Department said.
Malaysia is seeking to arrest Low, the financier who allegedly bought the Equanimity, which is registered in the Cayman Islands. His whereabouts are unknown.
A recent stint by the Malaysian police to catch Low unaware in Macau went amiss when the latter escaped from the former Portuguese controlled Island via ferry to an unknown destination.
The police think he is hiding in the Saint Kitts and Nevis offshore financial haven. The Island has no extradition treaties with either the US or Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the US Justice Department today said proceedings to seize the Equanimity in the US courts should be suspended until it finds out what Malaysia would do with the yacht.
Reuters today said ‘owners’ of Equanimity said in a separate filing to a US court that it is opposed to any suspension of proceedings and contested the handover of the vessel to Malaysia.
Malaysia has arrested ex-PM Najib Razak on suspicion of wrongdoing in the 1MDB case. Najib denies any wrongful acts but the authorities said they have sufficient evidence he was part of the plot.