The Fiji Supreme Court has ruled that the super boat of Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerrymo, which was seized at the request of the United States in April, should be handed over to US authorities. The judges said the maintenance of the ship was a financial waste for Fiji.
Reuters writes about the 106-meter-long Amadea Super Boat that arrived in Fiji on April 13 after an 18-day voyage from Mexico.
The surrender of the boat is part of an international operation to seize the assets of oligarchy affiliated with Vladimir Putin in the wake of Fiji’s Supreme Court ruling. Amedea was detained off the coast of Fiji in April at the request of the United States and was confiscated on a warrant issued by a federal court in Washington last month and accepted by a court in Fiji.
The FBI estimates that the $ 300 million luxury cruise ship will cost between $ 25 million and $ 30 million a year, and that the United States will pay for its maintenance after the seizure. However, the Fiji government paid the bill, and lawyers for Millemarin Investments of the Cayman Islands, the ship’s registered owner, appealed against its blockade, and the case is being heard in Fiji’s courts.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that boats should be evacuated off Fiji’s waters in the public interest as shipbuilding off Fiji’s waters is too expensive for the Fiji government. The boat traveled to Fiji without permission, mostly to escape the US case, the court said in a statement.
The United States claims that the Amedeo oligarchy belongs to Suleiman Kerimov, but Millemarin Investments lawyers have denied this, saying in court that its owner, another Russian oligarchy, Eduard Khudainatov, a former chairman of the Russian energy company Rosneft, was not allowed in. Last month, another luxury yacht worth $ 700 million belonging to Kudinadov was seized by Italian police.
The FBI has said that efforts were made to prevent the seizure of the Amedia ship “almost immediately” after Russian troops entered Ukraine.
The ship’s lawyer, Faisal Hanif, declined to comment on the verdict.
“This decision recognizes Fiji’s commitment to complying with Fiji’s international demands for mutual assistance and international obligations,” said Fiji Attorney General Christopher Pride. He said the court agreed that “money laundering and property matters” should be investigated by a U.S. court. “Amedia has been handed over to US authorities and will now leave Fiji,” he added.
The U.S. embassy in Chua did not comment on the decision.
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