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The U.S. Will Sail the Seized $325 Million Amadea Superyacht Within Days

The latest chapter in the international saga of Russian oligarchs’ seized superyachts has closed, and the winner is the U.S. Amadea, a $325 million superyacht arrested in Fiji in April this year, is now U.S. property, at least until a Supreme Court appeal is filed.
Fiji Court dismisses appeal from paper owner of $325 million Amadea, so it's now U.S. property 9 photos
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Amadea is a gorgeous and totally outrageous 2017 build delivered by Lurssen for billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, one of President Putin’s closest allies. Since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, several oligarchs have been included on sanctions lists as a means to cut down funding for the military aggression; Kerimov was among the first to be targeted.

In April, his superyacht Amadea undertook a surprising and highly-mediated crossing of the Pacific that cost over $530,000 worth of fuel and was meant to take the ship to safety. For whatever reason, the captain asked permission to dock in Fiji mid-way, and authorities here seized it on behalf of the U.S. What followed (and still continues) was a legal battle between the paper owner, Millemarin Investments, the Fiji government and U.S. representatives. The latest fight had the U.S. in the winner’s corner, the AP reports: the Fiji Court of Appeal dismissed Millemarin’s appeal to halt the seizing procedures.

In its attempt to halt the seizure, Millemarin claims that the owner of Amadea is not Kerimov, but another, non-sanctioned Russian businessman. It’s also arguing that the U.S. jurisdiction doesn’t extend to Fiji waters, even under existing partnerships.

The court has decided against the appeal, but Millemarin has seven days as of Friday (May 27) to file another one with the Supreme Court. Should that one fail too, the superyacht goes under full U.S. control and will have to sail out of Fiji, into U.S. waters. Local authorities don’t want it here anymore (it’s berthed at Lautoka harbor) because it’s too expensive, costing them some $1 million a week in maintenance.

Even assuming that this figure is grossly exaggerated (and it probably is), Amadea is not cheap to run or maintain. Annual costs for a superyacht are about 10% of its value, even if it never leaves dock; Amadea is priced at $325 million – $400 million. As U.S. property, all these assorted costs will fall on the U.S. government, unless the decision is made to sell it at auction.


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