The New York prosecutor’s office has initiated legal proceedings aimed at seizing the 106-meter superyacht Amadea, valued at over $300 million and linked to Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.
This move is part of a broader effort by the United States to target the assets of individuals under sanctions due to their involvement in Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Background on the Case
Suleiman Kerimov has been under US sanctions since 2014, with additional restrictions placed on his assets in 2018 and 2023. He is accused of playing a significant role in Russian operations in Syria and Ukraine, leading to the imposition of sanctions.
Kerimov’s wealth is largely derived from his stake in the Russian gold mining company Polyus, which has also come under US sanctions as of May 2023. With a net worth estimated at $10.7 billion by Forbes, Kerimov is considered one of the wealthiest individuals in Russia.
The Amadea Superyacht Saga
According to court documents, Kerimov orchestrated the purchase of the Amadea superyacht in 2021 through the use of figureheads to circumvent sanctions.
The yacht was formally transferred to the ownership of Errigan Marine, a newly established company nominally owned by Yevgeny Kokhman, the head of the sanctioned yacht broker Imperial Yachts.
Despite these attempts to disguise the true ownership, US authorities assert that Kerimov and his family members made extensive use of the yacht, planning repairs, scheduling flights, and assuming responsibility for its maintenance and operating expenses.
The yacht was seized by Fijian authorities in April 2022, and it is now the subject of a civil forfeiture lawsuit filed by the New York prosecutor’s office.
Broader Impact and Implications
This case is a part of a larger initiative by the United States to seize assets linked to Russian oligarchs under sanctions. The US has successfully confiscated Russian assets worth more than $1 billion abroad, sending a strong message to individuals involved in supporting the Russian aggression.
In a related move, US Attorney General Merrick Garland authorized the transfer of $5.4 million confiscated from Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev to Ukraine in February 2023.
The ongoing legal proceedings against the Amadea superyacht serve as a reminder of the US government’s commitment to using all available tools to hold accountable those who support or engage in activities that undermine global peace and security.
See the wild pictures of the incredible "Superyacht" below: