Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov’s $300m yacht seized in Fiji, US says

Topline

Officials in Fiji have seized a yacht worth at least $300 million that the United States says belongs to Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, the Justice Ministry said Thursday, as part of a… wider effort to freeze assets belonging to Russian tycoons with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. .

Highlights

Law enforcement in Fiji, along with the FBI, seized the 348ft Amadea after a US District Court found the yacht was subject to seizure because Kerimov broke the law to fund and maintain the boat, including laundering US dollars, the DOJ said in a press release.

Kerimov, who made his fortune investing in Russia’s biggest gold producer, was sanctioned by the US, UK and EU in March for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A court in Fiji ruled the United States could seize the vessel on Tuesday, although the judge gave defense attorneys a deadline on Friday to appeal.

Defense lawyers argued that Kerimov did not own the vessel and that the real owner of the yacht was Eduard Khudainatov, the former chief executive of Russian oil and gas company Rosneft, who is not the subject of a complaint. no penalties, reports the Associated Press.

Key context

The Department of Justice created the KleptoCapture task force in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which enforces sanctions the United States imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. During President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, he swore that the United States and its allies were coming for the Russian oligarchs, along with “their yachts, their luxury apartments [and]

have resigned from their positions access to many frozen villas yachts

crucial quote

“Last month, I issued a warning that the department had its eyes on every yacht purchased with dirty money,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said in a statement. “This yacht seizure should tell all corrupt Russian oligarchs that they cannot hide – not even in the most remote part of the world.”

Large number

$16.5 billion. This is the current net worth of Kerimov and his family, according to Forbes‘ real-time wealth tracking.

Tangent

German authorities seized the world’s largest superyacht, the Dilbar, in March. The 512ft yacht, owned by sanctioned Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, has been moored in Hamburg for repairs. The Treasury Department estimates that the Dilbar is worth up to $735 million.

Further reading

A judge in Fiji rules that the United States can seize a superyacht linked to Russian oligarch Kerimov (Forbes)

Biden and his allies are coming for the yachts of Russian billionaires: Forbes has spotted 50 of them. Here’s where to find them (Forbes)

A guide to all the outrageous mansions and estates owned by sanctioned Russian billionaires (Forbes)

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