Low Taek Jho, aka Jho Low, the man at the center of accusations by United States investigators of siphoning US$4.5 billion from the Malaysian government’s sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), is currently fighting the Department of Justice’s seizure of his US$250 million (RM1 billion) yacht.
Currently, the DoJ intends to move the yacht from where it is currently moored in Bali, Indonesia, to the United States.
Low has now called into question the DoJ’s ability to “maintain or market a luxury yacht as unique and distinctive as the M/Y Equanimity,” as per his lawyers earlier this week.
Well, la dee dah. Malaysia’s most awkward diamond gifter, slash one-time friend of Jamie Foxx, slash Paris Hilton party pal in a post-Nicole Richie world, reckons that the uncouth Philistines over at the DoJ don’t know their port from starboard.
Concerned that these lowly civil servants might use the wrong silverware when dining aboard the floating 300-foot castle you’ve allegedly bought with ill-gotten gains drained from a fund meant for Malaysia’s development?
According to Bloomberg, Low’s legal team wrote that the government’s intention in “reducing the number of crew members from more than 20 to just eight, a number so low that it would endanger the lives of the crew on board and wreak havoc on the condition of the yacht.”
Additionally, the DoJ intends to sell the yacht in the US, where according to his lawyers, the market for luxury yachts is “anemic” through the end of the fall, according to their filing in a Los Angeles federal court, when compared to other locations such as Monaco or Barcelona.
Well, la dee da again! We haven’t heard anything described as anemic since someone tried to pull the wool over our eyes with a counterfeit Pétrus. Jk – we only drink box wine.
Pray, do tell us more on emergent super yacht re-sale markets, legal team! Superyacht Flippers sounds like a terribly titled show featuring what sounds like equally terrible people.
For their part, the US has said in their court request for custody of the Equanimity that a 2017 Global Superyachts Market Analysis report stated that North America held a 45% market share for the sale of such floating monstrosities.
In June, the US government filed a second round of forfeiture lawsuits targeted at asset recovery of goods they claim were acquired with money stolen from 1MDB.
This includes the super yacht at the center of this week’s custody battle, which Low bought in 2014.
Other items that the government has listed include a US$1.29 million heart-shaped diamond and a US$3.8 million diamond pendant he gave that year to his then-girlfriend, model Miranda Kerr.
Wow – wait Bloomberg – did you just say “girlfriend”? Look like the King of the Friendzone was low-key dating Lady Dimples McSnapchat, who was between marriages to Orlando Bloom and current husband Evan Spiegel (founder of Snapchat).
Kerr has since returned the diamonds.
Other assets linked to stolen 1MDB funds include real estate in London, New York and Beverly Hills, a stake in EMI Music Publishing and a $35 million Bombardier Jet.
After the DoJ filed their lawsuit against the yacht last year, Low told its crew to keep it away from countries such as Singapore and Australia, whose governments were likely to seize the vessel, and instead stick to “safe” places such as Cambodia and Vietnam, according to US government filings.
The yacht was seized last month when it was moored off of Bali, after the US government asked for assistance from their Indonesian counterparts.