Amadea superyacht is back, not to its Russian billionaire owner but the U.S. after weeks of tugging it out at court. On Friday, the United States won the latest round of a legal battle to seize a $325-million megayacht in Fiji. The U.S. did get a taste of victory when the air was cleared with a Fiji court ruling in favor of the United States, which stated sanctioned tycoon Suleiman Kerimov owns Amadea. The taste soon turned sour when Fiji blocked the seizure of sanctioned Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov’s pleasure craft, Amadea, by U.S. authorities. The delay happened as Suva High Court Justice Deepthi Amaratunga had given the defense counsel time to prepare for their hearing.
In a final attempt to halt the impounding of the gorgeous boat, Millemarin again harped the same tune that the owner of Amadea is not Kerimov, but another, non-sanctioned Russian businessman. As per WKBW Buffalo, Fiji’s Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Feizal Haniff, who represents the company (Millemarin Investments) that legally owns the superyacht Amadea. It’s also arguing that the U.S. jurisdiction doesn’t extend to Fiji waters, even under existing partnerships. Kerimov’s lawyers still have an option to drag the case to the Supreme Court. Should that one fail too, the superyacht goes under complete U.S. control and will have to sail out of Fiji into U.S. waters.
The island nation, for one, will be absolutely thrilled to see the megayacht sail away as Kerimov’s Amadea has turned into a big headache costing an astronomical $172,000 per day in maintenance. CNN shared that according to a report by UK-based broker Towergate Insurance, owners are likely to spend at least 10% of the purchase price on the yearly cost of maintaining and operating their yacht. The 348-footer has been anchored at the Lautoka Wharf for nearly six weeks.
The GDP of the island country is $4 billion, as per The Fiji Times, and Fiji has already spent close to the north of $5 million to keep Amadea there. While Kerimov (worth $13.7 billion) 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.
Maintaining such a humungous vessel loaded to the teeth with luxurious amenities is no easy task. Once docked in the US, the Amadea will cost the American taxpayer upwards of $110,000 per day. The authorities can auction the yacht to avoid paying millions in maintenance but getting all the necessary approvals for selling the seized vessel would be extremely time-consuming.
The final task would be to find a billionaire interested in acquiring an oligarch’s seized $325 million yacht.