KUALA LUMPUR — The federal government is seeking the seizure of Low Taek Jho’s private jet, which is currently grounded in Singapore, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday, just days after taking control of the fugitive tycoon’s yacht, Equanimity.
The prime minister said yesterday his administration has started work on recovering the aircraft, also believed to have been bought with money “stolen” from sovereign investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
“We are trying to get back all the money that has been stolen from us,” he told reporters after visiting the “Tun M: A Forever Legacy” art exhibition at Perdana University in Serdang.
Singaporean authorities reportedly impounded Low’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet in January.
The US$35 million (RM143 million) plane was last reported to be at Singapore’s Seletar Airport.
The US$250 million (RM1.02 billion) Equanimity was brought back to Malaysia from Indonesia on Tuesday and is docked at the Boustead Cruise Centre Terminal in Port Klang.
The yacht, also said to have been bought by the Penang-born Low, better known as Jho Low, was seized by Indonesian authorities in Bali on Feb 28 at the request of the US authorities, as part of a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation related to 1MDB launched by the US Department of Justice.
However, an Indonesian court ruling in April declared the yacht was wrongfully impounded and should be released to its owners.
Indonesian police seized the Equanimity again on July 9 following a formal request for legal assistance from the US.
On Aug 4, Indonesia agreed to hand over the yacht to Malaysia.
A Bernama report said a special meeting to coordinate security control on Equanimity was held on Saturday involving numerous related agencies.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said besides the police, the navy, the General Operations Force (GOF), the armed forces, the Immigration Department and Boustead Naval Shipyard are involved in keeping watch on the yacht.
“The patrol is coordinated on a 24-hour basis with 18 crew members of the ship on duty aboard the ship,” Fuzi said in response to a statement by Dr Mahathir on Saturday that Equanimity would not be publicly displayed to maintain the ship’s quality and neatness.