Yacht seized from Russian oligarch Kerimov sails to U.S. after Fiji ruling
Amadea, a super-luxury motor yacht of 106m length and 18m height, is seen anchored at Pasatarlasi Pier for bunkering with nine fuel trucks. This was on February 18, 2020, in Bodrum District of Mugla Province in Turkey.
Osman Uras| nadolu Agency | Getty Images
A $325 million superyachtAccording to American authorities, the vessel is believed to be owned by Suleiman Kerimov, a Russian oligarch. He was sailing from Fiji on Tuesday after its high court granted permission for it’s seizure.
The 350-foot yacht Amadea — outfitted with a helipad, swimming pool and lobster tank — had been the subject of a weeks-long dispute over its ownership after the U.S. Department of Justice tried in early May to take possession of it in Lautoka, Fiji.
This seizure was part of DOJ’s KleptoCapture campaign, which punishes Russian billionaires for their nation’s invading of Ukraine. It is the latest of a number of similar actions taken by other agencies. Western countries targeting Russian luxury yachts.
The Treasury Department sanctioned Kerimov in 2018 after he was accused of profiting from Russia’s corruption and illegal annexation in Ukraine.
Fiji was left by the eight-cabin Amadea a few days later a federal judge in New York signed a warrantThe DOJ is authorized to seize the two Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich’s jets worth more than $400million each.
In a tweet, Anthony Coley, a DOJ spokesperson wrote that the United States was deeply grateful for Fijian police officers and prosecutors who persevered and dedicated to the rule law to make this action possible. He also included photos showing the Amadea sailing to the United States under a new American flag.
Within hours, Fiji’s Supreme Court ordered that the yacht “sail out Fiji waters” as it was costing the Fijian government “costly”. judgment reported by Reuters.
Amadea was convicted of sailing into Fiji without a permit, and likely to avoid prosecution by the United States.
According to the FBI, Amadea’s operating costs are between $25 and $30 millions annually. These costs were paid by Fiji’s government during legal proceedings over the seizure.
Millermarin Investments is the owner of the yacht. They argued Kerimov did not own it and opposed its seizure at Fijian courts.
Feizal Hanniff, Millermarin’s attorney, stated that Eduard Khudainatov was the ex-CEO of Rosneft state-controlled gas and oil company Rosneft. Khudainatov does not face sanctions from the U.S.
Haniff had also argued that the U.S. didn’t have the jurisdiction to seize the vessel in Fiji until the question of ownership could be settled there.
Also, Khudainatov appears on papers as the owner of the Scheherazade superyacht. It is worth $700 million. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been implicated in the Scheherazade. He is, along with Kerimov.
The Scheherazade was taken by Italy’s government last month at Marina di Carrara.
In a court filing, the FBI stated that Khudianatov’s listing as the “owner of two superyachts of record linked to sanctioned persons suggests that Khudainatov may be being used to hide the true beneficial owners.”
Last month, Lisa Monaco, Deputy Attorney General, wrote that when the U.S. tried to take the Amadea, she warned her that it had been “warned” that they had their eyes on any yacht bought with dirt money.
Monaco stated that the yacht seizure “should tell corrupt Russian oligarchs that they can’t hide, even in remote parts of the globe,” Monaco said.
“We will make every effort to enforce sanctions that were imposed as a result of Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine.”