1MDB-linked aircraft parked at Seletar Airport, no formal request from Malaysia seeking return: Police
SINGAPORE: An aircraft that is the subject of ongoing investigations related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is parked at Seletar Airport, the Singapore police said on Tuesday (Aug 14).
The police have not received any formal request from Malaysian authorities seeking the return of the aircraft, they added.
"Singapore has not received any formal request from the Malaysian authorities seeking the return of the aircraft," a police spokesman said.
"Any such request, along with other requests for the return of seized 1MDB-related assets, will be dealt with in accordance with Singapore's legal framework."
This comes after aviation services firm Jet Aviation said on Monday that a private jet owned by Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho - also known as Jho Low - was currently in Singapore.
Jho Low bought the Bombardier Global 5000 jet for US$35.4 million in 2010 using funds allegedly taken from 1MDB, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has said.
Jet Aviation said on Monday a Bombardier Global 5000 with the same registration number as the one identified by DOJ was at its facility at Seletar Airport in Singapore.
Malaysia is seeking to repossess the aircraft, with the country's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad saying earlier this week that "we have to bring it back".
Low is wanted by Malaysian authorities as part of investigations into the scandal-plagued 1MDB state fund founded by former prime minister Najib Razak.
The country's Attorney-General Tommy Thomas on Tuesday told reporters that Malaysia had not formally requested for mutual legal assistance from Singapore yet with regard to the aircraft.
The US$250 million yacht Equanimity, which the DOJ says was also bought by Jho Low, was handed over to Malaysia by Indonesian authorities and arrived at Port Klang last week.
The seizure of the yacht was made according to Malaysian procedures and laws, Malaysia's Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Liew Vui Keong told parliament on Tuesday, refuting claims that the seizure of the yacht was illegal.
"The detention of Equanimity was made according to Malaysian legal procedures and the claim is baseless," he said responding to Barisan Nasional Member of Parliament Azalina Othman Said.
Azalina had sought clarification from the government on claims by Jho Low’s lawyer that the seizure of the yacht by the Malaysian government was invalid and infringed on the legal proceedings of other nations, the New Straits Times reported.
“The United States government has agreed with the Indonesian government’s move to hand over the Equanimity to the Malaysian government," said Liew as reported by the New Straits Times.
“Allegations that our seizure of the ship violated other countries’ laws have no basis at all."
Liew said the government was still waiting for Jho Low, who was said to have bought the ship using funds siphoned from 1MDB, to claim it.
"The government awaits the return of Jho Low to claim the ship. We always await his coming back to this country," The New Straits Times quoted him as saying.