Superyacht of Russian gold mining tycoon confiscated by Fiji
News Department/Employee Newspaper–Friday, May 6, 2022 11:58 GMT+7
Superyacht Amadea worth more than 300 million USD. (Photo: US Department of Justice)
Two days earlier, a Fiji court had approved the US seizure of Amadea, a yacht that US officials confirmed belonged to billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, a gold mining tycoon.
Billionaire Kerimov’s yacht arrived in Fiji in April after an 18-day journey across the Pacific Ocean from Mexico.
Billionaire Kerimov was placed on the sanctions list in March by the US, UK and the European Union (EU) after Russia launched a special military operation against Ukraine.
The US State Department said that Fijian officials had yacht confiscation Amadea carries the Cayman Islands flag on May 5.
The Fiji court’s decision was made despite objections from an attorney for Millemarin Investments (Cayman Islands), where the Amadea yacht is registered.
This lawyer emphasized that the yacht Amadea is not owned by billionaire Kerimov but by Eduard Khudainatov, former CEO of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft.
Billionaire Suleiman Kerimov. (Photo: Reuters)
Billionaire Kerimov and Mr. Khudainatov, who have not been Western punishmenthas yet to comment on the incident.
Millemarin Investments has objected to the decision on May 5, and the Fiji court is expected to rule in an appeal hearing on May 6.
It is not clear why Fijian authorities confiscated the Amadea before a ruling on the appeal was made. Fiji’s top prosecutor’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment.
According to local media and marine analysis website Marine Traffic, the Amadea cruise ship docked in Fiji on April 13. On the same day, a US federal judge approved the arrest warrant for Amadea and on April 19, Fiji’s top prosecutor issued an injunction banning the yacht from leaving.
The arrest warrant states that Amadea “traveled from the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, to Mexico and then Fiji”. According to US officials, this route may mean that billionaire Kerimov is likely “planning to bring Amadea to Russia in an effort to prevent the US from confiscating the yacht”.
Many countries have seized superyachts and villas owned by Russian billionaire after Russia conducts military campaign in Ukraine.
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