- The Amadea, a superyacht owned by Russian oligarch Suleyman Kerimov, has been seized by Fiji.
- The $300 million luxury vessel spent over 18 days traversing the Pacific Ocean from Mexico to Fiji.
- Kerimov has been described as “a member of the inner circle of oligarchs” close to Putin.
The Fijian authorities have seized the Amadea, a $300 million luxury superyacht owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleyman Kerimov.
According to a Thursday news release from the Department of Justice, Fiji’s law enforcement authorities conducted the seizure after a warrant was issued by a local court. The Amadea is currently docked in Lautoka, Fiji.
“This yacht seizure should tell every corrupt Russian oligarch that they cannot hide – not even in the remotest part of the world. We will use every means of enforcing the sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, per the release.
The US filed applications to seize the yacht on April 19. A Fijian court granted an order the following day to prevent the superyacht from leaving its waters. Permission for the US to seize the yacht was given earlier this week.
He was sanctioned by the US in 2018 and designated to be “an official of the Government of the Russian Federation.” The Russian billionaire was also sanctioned by the EU and UK on March 15, for being “a member of the inner circle of oligarchs” close to Putin.
Kerimov is thought to be among the top 10 wealthiest people in Russia, with his estimated net worth pegged at $14.5 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
Several Russian oligarchs like Kerimov have had their assets — ranging from private jets to paintings and real estate — seized. Other sanctioned Russians have also attempted to move their yachts to lower-risk ports to avoid seizure.
In April, the US seized the Tango, another superyacht believed to be owned by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.
According to the news release, the Amadea’s seizure was coordinated by KleptoCapture, a task force in the DOJ, in collaboration with foreign allies.
KleptoCapture’s director Andrew Adams said the seizure took place “nearly 8,000 miles from Washington DC” and showed the immense reach of the DOJ, per the release.
He added that the task force will invest “every resource” possible in an “unprecedented, multinational series of enforcement actions against the Russian regime and its enablers.”
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