Superyacht Indian Empress (IMO 1006245, previously the Al Mirqab) was scheduled to be auctioned by the courts of Malta on May 22nd.
The 95-metre-long 3,176 gt, UK-flagged, 33-crew, 2000-built vessel, is owned by multimillionaire Vijay Vittal Mallya, a former Indian politician and co-founder of the Formula One Force India team.
The yacht, which was offered for charter for more than $600,000 a week, had been held under court order in Malta after a maritime lien relating to a million-dollar wage bill. Mallya spent more than $6m refitting the $93m yacht in 2015, but in April this year the yacht’s owner was ordered by a civil court to settle an outstanding bill in favour of local marine repairs and services company Melita Power Diesel Ltd.
Mallya, who is fighting extradition from the UK to India, was also ordered to pay $25,829 and $42,502 for services rendered to the vessel by Agence Maritime Tropezienne and Luise Associates Riviera & Co Srl respectively.
Mallya was arrested in London last year over allegations he supported his F1 team with money-laundered cash, and remains on bail. Meanwhile the vessel remained stationary and under arrest at the Grand Harbour Marina, Valletta.