Day after day, we wait for new outcomes (or any outcome) in the matter of superyacht Amadea. The case of Russian billionaire Sleiman Kerimov’s $325 million luxury vessel is turning into a weekly drama with viewers awaiting the climax with bated breath. Since last month, Fiji has played the polite host for way too long with the Amadea berthed at the Lautoka Wharf. The course of Amadea is still not clear. Still, the Director of Public Prosecution did state the Russian superyacht should be allowed to leave Fijian waters and that the authorities should deal with any criminal offenses in the United States. DPP Christopher Pryde pointed toward Fiji’s international obligations but not without throwing light on the fact that a criminal matter started in the United States should end there. The authoritative figure dubbed Amadea a nuisance and asked the Appeals Court to dismiss the application by Millemarin Investment Limited lawyer Feizal Haniff, who is challenging the order of the High Court to grant the seizure. According to FBC News, the DPP’s Office has also submitted for the reinstatement of the original High Court order.
What ensues onboard the gorgeous megayatch Amadea as it stays anchored in Fiji?
One might think the courtroom is where all the action regarding Amadea takes place. Instead, it is the Amadea where plenty of action is taking place regardless of it being moored and motionless for over a month. As per The Fiji Times, DPP Christopher Pryde stated superyacht Amadea is the responsibility of the Attorney-General while in Fiji who was obligated to pay for it. That explains the $1.2 million weekly maintenance cost.
Interestingly, it is not all work and no play for the police officers, acting as agents of the A-G aboard who control and look over the luxury boat. Milemarin Investments Ltd lawyer Faizal Hanni confirmed Amadea’s crew were aboard, ensuring this beauty of a ship stays that way at the expense of Milemarin Investments Ltd. The police officers, meanwhile, are getting a taste of the good life, literally, complete with daily tea and cakes. One particularly interesting point that Mr. Hanni made – the warrant for Amadea was registered as a restraining order and that in no way it entailed the yacht could be seized and taken to the U.S. Mr. Pryde compared Amadea’s case to an extradition case where an accused person was to face trial in one country and not for the courts in another to decide his guilt. “There cannot be two trials,” he said. “This matter was commenced in the U.S. and should conclude in the U.S.
Amadea is bleeding the tiny island nation dry:
Like an unwanted guest who has overstayed his welcome, Kerimov’s 348-footer has been anchored at the Lautoka Wharf for nearly five weeks. The GDP of the island country is $4 billion, as per The Fiji Times, and Fiji has already spent close to a whopping $5 million to keep Amadea there. While Kerimov may gladly pay $500,000 on a refuel, the Fijian authorities are not happy to see 1% of the country’s entire health budget wasted on a pleasure craft.
Fiji is at the center of the clash between the U.S. and team Kerimov:
The tiny pacific country paid heed to the request of the United States to register a warrant from the U.S. to seize the Amadea, and it has led to an ongoing to and fro on Fijian shores ever since. At the same time, it looked like the U.S. finally won the case when the court ruled in its favor that sanctioned tycoon Suleiman Kerimov as the luxury yacht owner.
That was a short-lived victory. Frustratingly, the judgment was put on hold while the defense lawyers of Millemarin Investments filed an appeal. A final verdict is awaited.
Amadea may make it back home to Russia after a month-long battle:
The vessel took a speedy 18-day trans-pacific voyage only to get to Russian shores, but one detour to Fiji changed the entire course for this Lurssen-built megayacht. Her docking on Fijian shores without customs clearance followed four grueling weeks of speculations, investigations, and courtroom hearings. The U.S. authorities fervently tried seizing Kerimov’s prized possession from when it docked in Fiji.
Not one to lose an asset without a fight, Kerimov’s lawyers claimed authorities could not capture the vessel as it belonged to a different billionaire, Eduard Khudainatov. It is only a matter of a few days when it will be as clear as the waters Amadea once sailed on if Kerimov’s prized possession will make it home or not.