Fiji court rules United States can seize Russian superyacht

A court in Fiji has given the US government permission to seize 4,402 gt yacht Amadea (IMO 1012531), which is believed to be beneficially owned by a sanctioned Russian individual.

The Amadea is a 110-metre yacht built in Germany in 2016 with eight suites and a crew of 25. It has been valued at about $350m.

US authorities believe that the Amadea’s beneficial owner is Suleiman Kerimov, who has ties to the Russian President and who obtained his wealth through ownership stakes in state oil trading house Nafta Moskva, state-owned gas company Gazprom, top Russian gold miner Polyus and leading state-owned bank Sberbank. He is thought to be worth between $11bn and $14bn.

The US Treasury placed him on its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) sanctions list in 2018, and he has been blacklisted ever since. But after the invasion of Ukraine the UK, EU and Canada added him to their sanctions lists, which has added pressure to properties outside Russia that are identified as belonging to Kerimov.

The Amadea entered Fijian waters in mid-April and the US wasted no time filing a request for seizure with the Fijian courts.

Lawyers for the vessel’s holding company, Millemarin Investments, claimed that it was owned by former Rosneft executive Eduard Khudainatov, who is not sanctioned.

Fiji’s High Court ultimately ruled in favour of the American request and allowed the vessel’s seizure, though it left room for the yacht’s representatives to file for an interim stay on the ruling.

2016-built, Cayman Islands-flagged, 4,402 gt Amadea is owned by Millemarin Investments Ltd care of Imperial Yachts SARL of Monte Carlo, Monaco.