Fri, 19 Oct 2018
24
Kuala Lumpur

A $250 million luxury yacht allegedly paid for with money from Malaysia's scandal-tainted 1MDB sovereign wealth fund has arrived at a port near Kuala Lumpur.

The 90-meter vessel dubbed Equanimity arrived at Port Klang Tuesday after a journey from the Indonesian island of Batam. The Cayman Islands-registered vessel was seized by Indonesia authorities off the resort island of Bali in February at the request of the U.S. Justice Department.

The luxury boat, which is equipped with a swimming pool, gym, helicopter landing pad and movie theater, was bought by Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, who U.S. officials say bought the luxury boat with stolen 1MDB funds.

Malaysian authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Low Taek Jho, a close associate of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who created 1MDB while in office.

FILE - Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, speaks to media as he leaves the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Office in Putrajaya, Malaysia, May 24, 2018.

Najib was arrested last month and charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of corruption in connection with the 1MDB scandal. The U.S. Justice Department says some of the $4.5 billion stolen from 1MDB landed in Najib's personal bank accounts.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. His trial is tentatively set to begin next February.

The scandal led to the stunning electoral victory in May by a coalition led by 92-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad over Najib's National Front coalition, which had ruled Malaysia uninterrupted since gaining independence in 1957 - 22 of those years under Mahathir.

Since his ouster, Najib has been barred from leaving Malaysia and questioned by the government's anti-graft agency along with his wife, Rosmah Mansor.

Just days before his arrest, Malaysian police said they had seized nearly $275 million in cash, jewelry and luxury handbags in raids on properties linked to Najib. The inventory included 12,000 pieces of jewelry, 567 handbags, 423 watches and 234 pairs of sunglasses. The most expensive item was a necklace worth more than $1 million.

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