The Amadea ship, estimated at 300 million dollars, belongs, according to Washington, to the businessman and deputy Suleiman Kerimov, targeted by European and American sanctions.
Moored in Lautoka, in western Fiji since mid-April, it had been immobilized by the Fijian authorities following the issuance of an American seizure warrant. On Tuesday, a local court had ordered its seizure, which took place in stride.
“This seizure shows corrupt Russian oligarchs that they cannot hide, even in the most remote places in the world,” commented the number two of the United States Department of Justice, Lisa Monaco, in a press release. “Every yacht bought with dirty money is in our sights,” she added.
The Amadea measures 107 meters, has a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a helipad and a “winter garden” on the deck, according to the specialized site superyachtfan.com. Several specialized sites indicate that Kerimov is the owner, but this could not be independently confirmed by AFP.
Spain had already seized in April, at the request of the United States, a superyacht worth 90 million dollars, belonging to Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, an ally of President Vladimir Putin.
Washington announced in March the creation of a cell dedicated to the prosecution of “corrupt Russian oligarchs” and all those who violate the sanctions adopted by Washington against Moscow.
Since then, Americans have “sanctioned and blocked ships and planes worth more than a billion, as well as freezing hundreds of millions of dollars of assets of Russian elites in American accounts”, according to the White House.
President Joe Biden hopes to be able to liquidate these assets and use the money to compensate for the damage Ukraine has suffered.