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The United States has moved to obtain ownership of a sanctioned Russian billionaire oligarch’s superyacht valued at $300 million.
On Monday, authorities launched a complaint to seize the Amadea yacht, a 348-foot vessel linked to Suleiman Kerimov, currently docked in San Diego. The move comes in light of escalating sanctions against figures associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin, aimed at influencing Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Following a US warrant, the yacht was initially seized in Fiji in May 2022. With this recent legal action, the US plans to secure ownership, potentially auctioning the yacht and diverting the funds to Ukraine.
Forbes lists Kerimov’s net worth, including his family’s assets, at $10.7 billion, with a significant portion originating from his interest in the Russian gold firm Polyus. The US Treasury Department sanctioned Kerimov in both 2014 and 2018 due to Russia’s undertakings in Syria and Ukraine. This restricted Kerimov from conducting business in the United States or with US companies.
In 2021, Kerimov purchased the Amadea and breached US sanctions by disbursing extensive maintenance costs through American banks.
The yacht’s proprietors now have an opportunity to challenge this forfeiture in court. Kerimov’s response to these allegations remains pending.