Antigua has tried every trick in the book to get rid of AlfaNero, but destiny seems to be churning its own path. Attorney Dr. David Dorsett has confirmed that the appeal of his client Yulia Guryeva-Motlokhov, the daughter of sanctioned Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev, has been filed in the High Court to stop the completion of the sale of the Alfa Nero. She claimed to be the sole beneficiary of a trust that is the 100 percent shareholder of Flying Dutchman Limited, which owns the $81 million superyacht. One cannot help but wonder where the owner has been since February 2022, as the lovely boat has been abandoned ever since.
The owner didnt surface to settle fuel bills, unpaid crew bills, or even docking charges of Falmouth Harbor. Dr. Dorsett exhibited complete confidence that this latest action would favor his client. “We would not be filing an appeal unless we had good and sound reasons to bring the appeal. We think the action of the government in taking possession of the yacht and selling the yacht is wrong on all levels,” he said.
A determined Dorsett added, “It is not the government’s yacht; they cannot just take it up and sell it to somebody else… We just want our boat back.” The drama has exploded since Alfa Nero’s controversial sale to Eric Schmidt.
How did the Alfa Nero superyacht end up abandoned in Antigua?
The 269 feet long vessel reached Antigua on February 2022. Come August 2022, the US-sanctioned Russian billionaire businessman Andrey Guryev and his namesake son followed by a frantic search for their spectacular $120 million ship, which the duo had kept hidden for months in Falmouth. The FBI being the FBI traced the location and raided the superyacht. With the luxury vessel losing her flag (Cayman Island), there was no going anywhere.
The sale of Alfa Nero is crucial to the country of Antigua –
With Alfa Nero making Antigua her involuntary home for over a year, it seemed like the island nation had adopted the ship. What else would one assume with the country gladly disbursing $28,000 weekly to maintain the pleasure craft?
The Oceanco-built superyacht sold for $67.6 million at an auction held on June 16th to Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to relieve the Antigua government.
The country has spent nearly $1.5 million on the vessel since she was abandoned last year. In addition, a staggering bill of $2.1 million burdened the authorities with unpaid dues to the Alfa Nero crew, taking the total to $3.7 million, which will be taken care of by the proceeds from the sale (if and when Schmidt transfers the payment). Antigua and Barbuda Port Manager Darwin Telemaque said the sale price would cover “all liabilities.”
According to CEIC data, as of June 2022, the external debt of Antigua stands at $767.126 million. The Gaston Browne government is keen to use the proceeds from the sale to clear a part of this debt and with a windfall of $63 million, the Alfa Nero superyacht will be able to repay a significant 8.5% of the nation’s external debt.
Will Eric Schmidt still buy the Alfa Nero superyacht?
One wonders why Eric Schmidt is patiently sitting in the middle of all this drama. It’s simply because a good businessman can smell a great deal from countries away. The tycoon is moving cautiously and has not transferred a cent despite the Antigua government granting him a week to transfer the funds in a week (the sale took place more than a month ago on June 16th, 2023).
Alfa Nero, a $120 million vessel, has been purchased for nearly half the price at $67.6 million, which is a steal for a well-maintained, amenity-packed ship. It also saves him ample time compared to ordering a new superyacht and waiting at least 3-4 years for delivery.
The Nuvolari & Lenard-designed boat accommodates twelve guests in six cabins across four decks.