Leaving nothing to chance and no stone unturned, The Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority covers all legal bases as the auction of the Alfa Nero approaches. On being questioned about the sale of Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev’s $120 million superyacht, Port Manager Darwin Telemaque shared, “We are just putting the process together- how we do it, where we do it, who is going to do it, and all of that- that is what we are working on.” He continued, “We are hoping that it would not be too long, but there are some procedures that are required; there are some local and international notifications that have to take place to ensure that we are in compliance, and that is more or less what we are trying to ensure.”
The biggest hurdle was crossed when the government secured the license from US authorities to sell the Russian billionaire’s 269 feet long vessel. This development frees bidders from acquiring a separate license. The date may not be finalized, but it seems like the impending auction will happen and be held to a high standard. “What we want to ensure that the highest standards are adhered to, there is full transparency in the process, [and] that there is international respect for what we do, taking into account that this is a global event and Antigua is under the microscope,” Telemaque said.
The sale of Alfa Nero will take a major load off the Antiguan government, which has been bleeding dry since the $120 million luxury vessel docked in Falmouth waters in February 2022. It should be noted that the GDP of Antigua and Barbuda in 2020 was approximately $1.52 billion. So a windfall of $72 million would be a considerable addition to their coffers.
The Caribbean nation has already spent nearly $1.5 million ($28000 a week for a year). The good news is the nation expects to make a windfall from the sale to cover the expense as the funds will go towards the Consolidated Funds at the Treasury.
Alfa Nero’s crew is having a ball-
What good is a ship that sails to nowhere? One would expect the elegant Alfa Nero to become a shadow of its former glorious self. But that’s hardly the case. The $120 million vessel, despite being moored for over a year, is in ship shape, pun intended. Out of 25, barely six crew members remain who are efficiently maintaining the boat.
Even so, there is ample time at hand which the crew spends playing games like Call of Duty in the wood-paneled study of the primary suite. They leave most amenities, areas, and VIP suites unused which explains why the yacht is still beaming. The only luxury the crew indulges in every once in a while is the infinity pool.
Alfa Nero attracted bids as high as $72 million-
Auctioning the Alfa Nero was no small feat. The Antiguan government went to great lengths to avert any damage to the abandoned vessel. It also involved approving several amendments to the Antigua Port Authority Act, crucial to selling the billionaire’s pleasure craft. Steadroy Benjamin, Minister of Justice and attorney general of Antigua and Barbuda, declared the vessel “a hazard to shipping and to the harbor where it is moored.” per Port Manager Darwin Telemaque, there was a lot of interest expressed in the 279-footer with over 20 possible buyers.
According to the chief of staff of the Prime Minister’s office, bids as high as $72 million were made, with offers coming in from countries like France, Saudi Arabia, Monaco, New Zealand, and more.