August 11, 2022

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The Passionate Pursuit of Law

Oligarch’s Seized $300M Yacht Now Flying US Flag

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The US alleged the Amadea belonged to Russian gold tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, who was sanctioned in 2018 following Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

Suleyman Kerimov

Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images


The Russian billionaire is believed to have “close ties” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2017, he was accused of laundering hundreds of millions of euros through luxury real estate purchases in France.

Suleyman Kerimov and Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and businessman, billionaire Suleiman Kerimov (L) photographed together on August 6, 2019 in Sochi, Russia.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images


But the lawyer representing Millemarin Investment Ltd. argued that the Amadea was actually owned by Russian oil executive Eduard Khudainatov, who is not sanctioned.

Eduard Khudainatov, former President of Rusneft, the biggest Russian oil company, during Russian-Turkish talks in the Kremlin Palace on March, 16, 2011.

Eduard Khudainatov, former President of Rusneft, the biggest Russian oil company, during Russian-Turkish talks in the Kremlin Palace on March, 16, 2011.

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images


For eight weeks, the superyacht remained in Fiji as the two parties battled it out over which Russian oligarch was the boat’s true owner.

The superyacht Amadea is moored in Honolulu on Thursday, June 16, 2022. A Russian-owned superyacht seized by the United States arrived in Honolulu Harbor flying a U.S. flag after the U.S. last week won a legal battle in Fiji to take the $325 million vessel.

The superyacht Amadea moored in Honolulu on Thursday, June 16, 2022.

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)


The Amadea’s seizure was coordinated through the Justice Department’s KleptoCapture group, a task force put together to track down sanctioned assets following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

the yacht Amadea of sanctioned Russian Oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, seized by the Fiji government at the request of the US, arrives at the Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii, June 16, 2022.

Four men look out from the Amadea’s upper deck as it arrives in Honolulu.

EUGENE TANNER/AFP via Getty Images


Although the Russian superyacht is now under US control, the “craziest thing” about its seizure is the boat’s costly upkeep, as Joe Biden’s national security advisor was recorded saying Thursday.

the yacht Amadea of sanctioned Russian Oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, seized by the Fiji government at the request of the US, arrives at the Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii, June 16, 2022.

Crew members prepare to dock the Amadea in Honolulu on June 16, 2022.

EUGENE TANNER/AFP via Getty Images


Source: Insider

“When we seize one, we have to pay for upkeep,” Sullivan said. “The federal government pays for upkeep … so like some people are basically being paid to maintain Russian superyachts on behalf of the United States government.”

The superyacht Amadea is moored in Honolulu on Thursday, June 16, 2022. A Russian-owned superyacht seized by the United States arrived in Honolulu Harbor flying a U.S. flag after the U.S. last week won a legal battle in Fiji to take the $325 million vessel.

The Amadea moored in Honolulu harbor.

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy


Source: Insider

The Amadea’s support and maintenance is reported to cost between $25 million and $30 million a year. Without proper care, the Russian yachts seized by governments around the world could lose 30% of their value.

The superyacht Amadea is moored in Honolulu on Thursday, June 16, 2022. A Russian-owned superyacht seized by the United States arrived in Honolulu Harbor flying a U.S. flag after the U.S. last week won a legal battle in Fiji to take the $325 million vessel.

A man fishes next to where the Amadea is moored in Honolulu harbor.

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)


Source: Insider

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