Equanimity owner to challenge lawfulness of luxury yacht seizure

KUALA LUMPUR: The lawfulness of the United States’ Department of Justice’s (DOJ) seizure of The Equanimity luxury private yacht is being challenged in Indonesian and United States courts under both countries’ laws.

Equanimity (Cayman) Limited, which is the legal owner of the vessel and also plaintiff in the DOJ loss actions, said the DOJ as well as Indonesian authorities had actually acted outside the bounds of legal rules by taking the luxury yacht.

“We have submitted documents in the courts of both nations to demonstrate this,” the company said in a statement released in London.

It stated while the business was ever happy to offer the private yacht while the case was still pending, the DOJ seizure would only lead to the value of the yacht to be considerably impacted.

The business stated the DOJ had put its own case concerning the vessel on hold in 2015, and since that time had taken no actions to move the case forward or to prove that any impropriety had happened.

It stated that while the court-ordered stay was in effect, the DOJ still attempted to take the vessel in Indonesia.

“The DOJ’s recent filing in California is an attempt to utilize disputed accusations of historical conduct to paper over its own illegal conduct in Indonesia.

“As displayed in plaintiffs’ court filings, the DOJ’s proposed course of action will considerably minimize the vessel’s worth and expose the vessel and its crew to dangers at sea.

“This is completely unneeded, because the claimants have constantly been, and stay, eager to have actually the vessel sold while the DOJ’s case is pending, provided that the sale is performed under readily-achievable market conditions that will reflect the vessel’s real market price and produce a fair cost.”

Equanimity stated the approach taken by the DOJ would only damage the worth of a vessel that it had yet to demonstrate any legal right to claim.

It stated the DOJ had not sought possession of the vessel by approaching the business, which has all this while offered undertakings to co-operate with the DOJ and the United States Court, the luxury yacht management business responsible for the vessel and also the flag state of the yacht.

It might have taken any of these courses of action at any time, the DOJ instead chose for a needlessly expensive and ill-conceived seizure in Indonesian waters that jeopardises the value of the vessel,” the statement read.

The company said it had submitted a reply to remedy accurate misstatements and mischaracterisations in the federal government’s newest filing.

“Contrary to the assertions made in the government’s filing, the location of the vessel has actually never ever been a secret nor have the complaintants taken actions to jeopardise the vessel’s value.

“The government has not taken any steps to show its case or entitlement to the vessel, and there have actually been no findings that any misdeed happened.

“The claimants, as owners of the vessel, mean to continue to protect their rights and their residential or commercial property,” it stated.

It was reported that Indonesian authorities took the Equanimity on Feb 28 near Bali and discussions were continuous with the United States authorities on the turning over of the private yacht.