The US is trying to seize this Russian Megayacht in Fiji

The US is trying to seize this Russian Megayacht in Fiji

Apr 21, 2022

Amadea is an impressive megayacht owned by Russian oligarch Suleyman Kerimov. The vessel is trapped in Fiji, where local and U.S authorities are trying to impound it. 

The Russian megayacht is one of the latest builds from the luxury shipyard Lurssen. It is estimated it costs $325 million and it belongs to Suleiman Kerimov, a Russia-based billionaire and politician. 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on the 24th of February, one of the responses of NATO countries has been to enforce sanctions lists against oligarchs known for their ties with the Russian President.

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In search of friendly waters

The Russian billionaire has strong ties with Vladimir Putin’s government and is a former state-oil trader. Kerimov has obtained billions of dollars with loans from state-owned banks and is a major stakeholder in Gazprom

Kerimov has been subject to international sanctions in 2014 and 2018 as well, and is now on the sanctions list of the EU, U.S and the UK, meaning all his possessions can be seized by local governments. 

Kerimov searched for a friendly port for Amadea, and last month the megayacht departed from Mexico and sailed across the Pacific Ocean. Supposedly, Kerimov wanted to take Amadea to the Russian port of Vladivostok, where international sanctions could not reach the megayacht. However, on its way there, it stopped in Fiji, where it is currently located and authorities detained the crew. 

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Steps towards getting the vessel impounded

According to Reuters reports, this was just the first step towards getting the ship impounded. At the moment, local and U.S authorities are cooperating to establish the identity of Amadea’s owner. In most cases, Russian yachts register their vessels in the Cayman Islands, allowing U.S authorities to impound it. 

Fiji’s director of public prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, filed an application with the High Court asking the motor yacht Amadea to be restrained from leaving Fijian waters until the finalization of the application to register a warrant to seize the property. So far, Fiji authorities have seized the Amadea and are waiting for sanctions to apply on the luxury vessel.

After the crew was detained, a superyacht agent for Amadea has denied to the media that the owner of the yacht is Kerimov or anyone associated with President Vladimir Putin. 


Inside Amadea

Amadea is a motor yacht with a total length of 106.1m. It has been built by Lürssen and was delivered in 2017. The superyacht has a volume of 4,402 GT and a beam of 18m. 

Espen Oino International worked on the exterior design while Zuretti Interior Design focused on the interior. Amadea can accommodate up to 16 guests and has accommodation for 36 crew members including the captain. The yacht has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, and its facilities extend over five decks. 

The exterior features a 10-metre pool and includes features as a home cinema, massage room and sauna.