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U.S. seeks to seize superyacht in Fiji from suspected Russian owner -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Suleiman Kerimov, a Dagestani born tycoon watches a match between Anzhi CSKA in Makhachkala on December 2, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Rasulov/ NewsTeam

Kirsty Neham

SYDNEY, (Reuters) – The United States seeks to seize a superyacht believed to belong to a Russian oligarch and docked in Fiji. According to a Tuesday application by Fiji’s public prosecutor for a restraining or order.

It is believed that the Amadea luxury yacht was owned by Suleiman Kerimov of Russia, who has been sanctioned both by the United States (USA) and the European Union.

After crossing the Pacific Ocean 18 days before, the vessel reached Fiji one week ago. Police are currently investigating.

In response to the sanctions placed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine (which Russia considers a special military operation), authorities in different countries have taken over luxury villas and vessels owned by Russian billionaires.

Christopher Pryde (Fiji’s director for public prosecutions) filed a High Court application seeking to stop the Amadea leaving Fiji.

It requested that “motor yacht Amadea” be kept from leaving Fijian waters pending the completion of an application for a warrant be issued to seize property, and (ii), that the Amadea is registered under a US warrant be issued to seize it.”

While the U.S. Embassy didn’t immediately reply to my request for comment, last week they said that they were cooperating with Fiji authorities on Amadea.

Last week, the Embassy stated that “The United States is determined to find and seize the assets of oligarchs which have supported the Russian Federation’s brutal, unprovoked War of Choice against Ukraine.”

The court has yet to hear the case.

A Fijian superyacht agent for the Amadea stated last week to Reuters that Suleiman’s lawyer was contesting the ownership of the vessel.

Reuters has seen the registration records and found that the yacht was registered in Cayman Islands to a company.

A spokeswoman for Fiji’s Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions stated that “the legal ownership of the boat remains under investigation.”

In response to Russia’s actions in Syria, Kerimov received sanctions in 2014 and 2018.