Malaysia will sell the superyacht Equanimity which was allegedly purchased using stolen funds from Malaysia state fund 1MDB to casino operator Genting Malaysia Bhd for US$126 million.
This is the first major asset sale by by Kuala Lumpur in attempts to recover money lost from the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) fund.
The Equanimity was reported by Indonesian authorities to have been seized in February 2018.
The superyacht is among assets allegedly purchased by fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho and his associates with money taken from the 1MDB fund.
The superyacht Equanimity is thought to have cost US$250 million. The Malaysian government was spending around US$500,000 a month to maintain the Equanimity.
Malaysia set a minimum price tag of $130 million when it put the yacht up for sale in October, but had struggled to find a buyer.
On Wednesday, a court approved its sale to Genting Malaysia for $126m.
“Many offers were received…and a few were over $100 million,” Attorney General Tommy Thomas said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that Genting would pay the $126 million by the end of April.
The government would save $4.4 million in agent’s commission since it negotiated directly with Genting Malaysia, he added.
Low Taek Jho was charged in a US federal court late last year with theft and money laundering. At the same time he was also charged in absentia in Malaysia last year with money laundering and financial fraud.
Malaysian police have issued an arrest warrant and filed criminal charges against Low Taek Jho, but his whereabouts are unknown.
Low Taek Jho has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. The fugitive Malaysian financier also happens to be often called Jho Low.