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A seized Russian yacht flying the US flag is heading to Hawaii today

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A $325million superyacht sails to Hawaii today after being seized by US authorities from a Russian oligarch.

The 348ft Amadea was confiscated in Fiji last week from Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov as part of sanctions implemented by the United States in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The ship now has an American crew and sports the stars and stripes, reports Bloomberg. Kerimov is a major shareholder in Russian gas giant Gazprom, with close ties to Vladimir Putin and an estimated net worth of $11 billion.

Satellite mapping from Spire Global, a company that tracks sea and air vessels, reveals that the Amadea was docked in the Caribbean a day before Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then it has passed through the Panama Canal, stopped in Mexico and then crossed the Pacific to Fiji where it was seized. The yacht was being held there as the owner tried to challenge the seizure in court. The yacht’s registered owner, Millemarin Investments, claims the vessel is actually owned by Eduard Khudainatov, another tycoon who is not on the sanctions list.

This legal attempt failed and the stay in Fiji was lifted by the country’s Supreme Court on June 7, after which the ship was piloted by an American crew and set sail for Hawaii.

The Amadea was built by Lurssen Yachts in Germany in 2017. At 348 feet long, she is the 63rd largest superyacht on the seas and can accommodate 16 guests and 36 crew. It would have a cinema and a party terrace with a 20,000 watt speaker system as well as lights and lasers.

Since the start of the war in February, at least 20 yachts worth more than $2.25 billion have been seized from Russian owners.

Ownership of the world’s superyachts is often shrouded in secrecy, as luxury vessels are often registered through a series of offshore holding companies. Since the severe sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia in February, the hunt for yachts has gone global.

Some have headed for friendlier waters where seizure is impossible, such as the Maldives, the BBC reports. Attempts to seize one of the most expensive superyachts, the Solaris, owned by former Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich, led to a protest on the water in Turkey, where it eventually ended up been refused a seat.

US sanctions were further extended on June 2 to punish a growing list of prominent Russian government officials and business leaders with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Russian elites, including President Putin, rely on complex support networks to hide, move and hold their wealth and luxuries, the Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence has said. Brian Nelson, in a statement. Today’s action demonstrates that the Treasury can and will prosecute those responsible for protecting and sustaining these ill-gotten interests. We will continue to enforce our sanctions and expose the corrupt systems through which President Putin and his elites enrich themselves.

The current location of the Amadea can be tracked here.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.sfgate.com/hawaii/article/Seized-Russian-superyacht-flies-US-flag-17246595.php

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