March 27, 2018 - In the papers filed yesterday, the DoJ sought an order for Low’s representatives to tender the yacht into the US government’s custody in order for the vessel to be brought to the US for forfeiture purposes.
The DoJ also accused Low of directing the ship’s captain to “hide” Equanimity from being tracked.
According to FBI special agent Justin McNair, upon learning of the US attempts to seize the Equanimity since last year, Low had directed the ship’s captain to “hide” the vessel.
“One of Low’s directives was to turn off the Equanimity’s automatic identification system (AIS).
“While vessels may sometimes turn off their AIS to ‘hide’ themselves when they are in high-risk territories with serious pirate concerns, the Equanimity was not in a high-risk territory when it turned off its AIS right after news broke about this action,” Mcnair said in the court papers.
He added that Low had communicated with the yacht’s captain through the mobile messaging application WeChat.
“When they miscalculated in Indonesia and saw the yacht seized, they filed a suit to resist the seizure and prevent Indonesia from surrendering the yacht to the US government.
“And even when they had engaged with the government about a possible interlocutory sale of the yacht, they insisted that the yacht not be brought into the United States,” the DoJ said in the court documents.
The DoJ, said it filed for custody of the Equanimity, because Low’s agents “might not be trusted” to bring the yacht to the US on their own.
Following the seizure of the yacht last month, a spokesman for Low released a statement criticising the actions of the US government.
“The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has stayed asset forfeiture proceedings in this case and has still not taken any steps to prove that any impropriety has occurred.
“It is therefore disappointing that, rather than reflecting on the deeply flawed and politically-motivated allegations, the DoJ is continuing with its pattern of global overreach — all based on entirely unsupported claims of wrongdoing,” the statement said, referring to the seizure of the yacht.