A court in Fiji has temporarily paused the seizure of superyacht Amadea (IMO 1012531) which moored in the port of Lautoka. The US government said that the yacht belonged to sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the yacht’s holding company has claimed that the beneficial owner was another, unsanctioned, Russian businessman.
An FBI team visited the yacht last week and, in a warrant filed with the Fijian court, agents claimed that they had found documents showing that Kerimov was linked to the vessel and had broken US laws. The warrant claimed that Kerimov “caused US dollar transactions for the operation and maintenance of the Amadea to be sent through US financial institutions,” thereby violating the ban on his use of American banking services.
Lawyers for the vessel’s holding company, Monaco-based Millemarin Investments, have insisted that the yacht was owned by former Rosneft executive Eduard Khudainatov, who was not sanctioned. If the vessel were his, it would not be possible to seize it.
Once again the problem of establishing “true” beneficial ownership of some of these superyachts, and other Russian assets abroad, has proved problematic. It has been questioned whether Khidaintov could have the wealth needed to buy and maintain megayachts, the implication being that he might be a “front” owner for other parties.
For now, the Amadea would be remaining in port, while Fiji’s High Court has granted a request from Millemarin Investments to stay the asset seizure, pending an appeal.
2016-built, Cayman Islands-flagged, 4,402 gt Amadea
Is owned by Millemarin Investments Ltd care of Imperial Yachts Sarl of Monte Carlo, Monaco.