Fiji has decided to hand over a luxury yacht to the United States, which is to belong to the Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, the Reuters Agency reported. The reason for the donation of an approximately $ 300 million unit was the high cost of living. On Tuesday, the ship left for the US.
The U.S. Department of Justice team focused on seizing yachts and other luxury assets of Russian oligarchs in an attempt to put pressure on the Russian president Vladimir Putin regarding wars in Ukraine – Reuters explained.
Amadea yacht handed over to the USA by Fiji
The 106-meter Amadea vessel arrived in Fiji on April 13 after an 18-day journey from Mexico. It was taken over by Fijian authorities after it last month Supreme Court of that country recognized the US seizure order. The US has indicated that the yacht is to belong to the sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, the agency described.
The FBI said the cost of operating a $ 300 million luxury vessel is between $ 25 million and $ 30 million per year, with United States were to declare that they would pay for the maintenance of the ship after it was taken over. Even so, the Fijian government was paying off the bills while the appeal of the registered owner of the ship – Millemarin Investments – was progressing through the judicial levels in the country, Reuters explained.
The Fiji Supreme Court ruled that the public interest requires the yacht to “leave Fiji’s waters” because it “cost the Fijian government dearly” to moor it. The ship “entered Fiji’s waters without permission and most likely to avoid being prosecuted by the United States,” the court added in the ruling.
Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the US Justice Department, tweeted that Amadea set sail for the United States on Tuesday “after she was arrested despite trying to evade criminal sanctions against the Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.” He also thanked the Fijian police and prosecutors.
The United States says Kerimov owns Amadea, although the ship’s lawyers have denied this and told the court that it belongs to another Russian oligarch – Eduard Chudainatov – former head of Russian energy giant Rosneft, who has not been fined, Reuters reported.
The agency recalled that last month, police in Italy confiscated another luxury yacht allegedly owned by Chudainatov – worth around $ 700 million.
The FBI said in the seizure order that Amadea’s case was attempted to avoid seizure “almost immediately” after Russian troops entered Ukraine after the automatic tracking system was disabled on February 24.
The ship’s lawyer, Feizal Haniff, declined to comment on the verdict.
Main photo source: Reuters