At the request of the United States, authorities in Fiji seized a superyacht on Tuesday. The luxury boat is believed to belong to a Russian oligarch targeted by sanctions linked to the war in Ukraine, the United States Department of Justice said on Thursday.
Baptized Amadea, this ship estimated at 325 million dollars would be that of the businessman and deputy Suleiman Kerimov. The latter would have made a fortune thanks to his stakes in large Russian energy and financial companies, including Gazprom and Sberbank.
‘No hiding place’ for Russian criminals
The yacht had already been detained by Fijian authorities since the issuance of a US seizure warrant. On Tuesday, a local court had ordered its seizure. “There is no hiding place for the assets of criminals who support the Russian regime,” said Merrick Garland, US Attorney General.
“This seizure shows the corrupt Russian oligarchs that they cannot hide, even in the most remote places of the world”, commented the number two of the American ministry of Justice, Lisa Monaco. “Every yacht bought with dirty money is in our sights. »
Prosecute ‘corrupt Russian oligarchs’
The Amadea measures 107m and has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, helipad and a “winter garden” on deck. A company registered as the owner of the boat, Millemarin Investment, appealed the seizure to the High Court of Fiji. According to the prosecutor of this court, a decision was expected this Friday.
In April, Spain had seized at the request of the United States a superyacht worth 90 million dollars belonging to Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, an ally of Vladimir Putin. In March, Washington announced the creation of a cell dedicated to prosecuting “corrupt Russian oligarchs” and anyone who violates US sanctions against Moscow.
The Americans have since ‘sanctioned and blocked ships and planes worth over $1 billion’ and ‘frozen hundreds of millions of dollars in Russian elite assets in US accounts’, according to the White House. . Joe Biden hopes to be able to liquidate these assets and use the money to compensate for the damage Ukraine has suffered.