The seizing of tycoon Jho Low's luxury yacht Equanimity could well be of great assistance to the probe into 1MDB and his whereabouts, and therefore should interest the Malaysian authorities, said an opposition MP.
“With respect, I think the attorney general (AG) Mohamed Apandi Ali needs to explain this: why are we not showing any interest in the seizure of the yacht which could quite possibly assist with investigations into 1MDB?” asked Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo.
“The AG himself said on 31st October 2017 that the 1MDB probe is still ongoing as there is a lack of evidence.
“So why are we turning our backs to what could be of great assistance to us for the purposes of that probe?
“The AG must also state if his office will now communicate with his Indonesian counterparts in order to get access to information or evidence recovered from the yacht, and if not, why not?” said Gobind in a statement today.
Indonesian police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized the US$250 million (RM1 billion) yacht off the coast of Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday.
US authorities in their largest kleptocracy case, claim Low had bought the yacht with funds linked to 1MDB.
However when asked by the media on Thursday, Apandi said Malaysia would not be claiming the yacht as it does not belong to the government.
Penang-born Low is at the heart of the US Department of Justice's (DOJ) anti-kleptocracy case, after the latter launched a series of forfeiture suits to recover assets it claims had been bought with laundered funds from 1MDB.
The Department subsequently applied for a stay of the suits pending their criminal investigation into the same matter.
Gobind said the nation has “lost a great opportunity to probe deeper into 1MDB because it showed no interest in the seizure of the superyacht".
He said police investigations would ordinarily require looking for evidence in seized premises.
“So this whole theory that 'we are not interested because the yacht does not belong to Malaysia' offered by the AG doesn’t hold water, because we are not only concerned with the asset itself, but its contents too, which could well be of great assistance to the probe into 1MDB and the whereabouts of Jho Low.”
Gobind said the AG should “take each and every step in order to find all the evidence necessary to conclude its probe into 1MDB and to recover any assets or monies it can”.
Therefore, Apandi cannot remain silent on the Equanimity, he said, adding he intends to raise the matter in Parliament when it convenes next week.
Yesterday, PKR's Alor Setar MP Gooi Hsiao Leung filed an urgent motion in Parliament to discuss the AG's stand on the seized yacht, which is now in Indonesia's possession.
Indonesian authorities are scouring the craft for evidence.