Federal prosecutors in the United States are attempting to seize a $300 million superyacht from a Russian tycoon. When the unrest in Ukraine started about a year ago, Fijian authorities first took possession of the superyacht.
Attorney Damian Williams of the United States has filed a civil forfeiture complaint against the Amadea, a lavish vessel measuring 348 feet in length, which American officials assert billionaire Russian oligarch Kerimov owns.
The Amadea has an inside theater, fire pits, a mosaic-tiled swimming pool in the back, and a helipad on its front deck, according to CharterWorld Luxury Yacht Charters.
According to court records Williams provided, Russian oligarch Kerimov was subject to sanctions in 2018 because of his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nevertheless, he was able to disguise the real owner of the yacht in 2021 by orchestrating the acquisition through a series of corporate firms. Given that the ship underwent maintenance for more than $1 million, it is alleged that this activity breached penalties, according to court documents.
A BBC report from November 2022 claims that when the yacht fled during the outbreak of the conflict with Ukraine, the Fijian police seized it in the Pacific Ocean.
Shortly after the Russian military invaded Ukraine, US prosecutor Andrew Adams told the BBC that authorities saw the ship swiftly leaving from locations where they usually have the legal right to impounded it.
“Essentially, the boat tried to go dark,” Adams said in an interview.
The BBC reports that US officials believed the ship was en route to Vladivostok, a Russian city near North Korea, for a race when it was apprehended in Fiji.
The ship was taken over by the US Department of Justice, who then moved it to California, where it is now stationed. The attorneys representing another Russian billionaire, Eduard Khudainatov, who is not subject to sanctions, filed court filings in Fiji in an effort to reclaim the ship.
The legal team representing Khudainatov notified Reuters that they have filed a lawsuit in the US to reclaim the superyacht. An representative representing Khudainatov’s lawyers referred Insider to the formal court filings.
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