Indonesia hands yacht linked to 1MDB over to Malaysia

Indonesia hands yacht linked to 1MDB over to Malaysia

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has challenged any party wanting to claim ownership of the seized luxury super yacht Equanimity, which has been returned by Indonesian authorities to the Malaysian government, to come forward and furnish proof of their claim. Malaysia's attorney-general welcomed the boat being turned over, and said that "sensitive and delicate negotiations" had taken place between Malaysia, Indonesia and the United States to ensure it happened.

Former Malaysian premier Najib Razak left the Kuala Lumpur office of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) after just 45 minutes on Tuesday (Aug 7).

Malaysian and worldwide authorities want to question Malaysian financier Jho Low, who the Justice Department alleges was a key figure in the theft and global laundering of US$4.5 billion from 1MDB.

The U.S. Department of Justice says an estimated $4.5 billion (£3.4 billion) was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.

The former leader, his family and cronies are accused of embezzling huge sums that were used to buy everything from artwork to high-end real estate in a sophisticated fraud that spanned the globe.

Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's former defense minister, had said the center was crucial to curb the spread of "violent extremism" by armed groups, including the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

USA pledges almost $300 million security funding for Southeast Asia
In the draft text, Beijing suggests that China and the 10 ASEAN states should carry out joint military exercises regularly. Earlier in the day, Mr Pompeo was in Putrajaya, where he called on Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The ex-prime minister was arrested and charged with corruption last month.

Indonesia handed over to Malaysia on Monday a $250 million luxury yacht, impounded earlier this year as part of an worldwide hunt for assets purchased with billions of dollars allegedly siphoned off from state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Mr Low issued a statement through his US attorney on Monday protesting the handover of the yacht as an "illegal act" for ignoring court proceedings in the United States.

Najib set up 1MDB when he took power in 2009, but it accumulated billions in debts. His current whereabouts are unknown but Malaysian authorities have said they want to bring him back to the country and prosecute him.

"We believe the ship is owned by the Malaysian government because it was bought by Malaysian money that was stolen by certain parties", Mahathir said.