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US$325 million Russian-owned yacht is approaching Hawaii, coming all the way from Fiji

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A $325 million Russian yacht with a swimming pool and helipad is headed to Hawaii, flying an American flag as it sails, with an all-new crew after a Kremlin-affiliated oligarch tried to disguise his property.

The 106-meter-long Amadea arrived in Fiji on April 13 after an 18-day journey from Mexico. It was seized by Fiji authorities after the country’s Supreme Court issued a US arrest warrant last month linking the yacht to sanctioned Russian billionaire and oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.

The FBI has said the $325 million luxury ship had operating costs of $25 million to $30 million a year, and that the US would pay to maintain the ship after it was captured.

The US Justice Department’s KleptoCapture Task Force has targeted the seizure of yachts and other luxury belongings from Russian oligarchs in an effort to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine.

Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the US Department of Justice, posted on Twitter on June 7 that the Amadea would leave for the United States “after it was seized as the proceeds of criminal evasion of US sanctions against Russian oligarch Suleyman Kerimov.” ‘

“The United States is deeply grateful to the Fijian police and prosecutors for their perseverance and commitment to the rule of law that made this action possible,” he later tweeted.

The Amadea, worth $325 million, left for the US on June 7 with permission from the Fiji High Court and under the US flag (pictured) after being seized last month as part of the US government’s sanction against the Russian oligarch Suleyman Kerimov

The Amadea four-plane departed Fiji nine days ago with a new crew, making a 3,100-mile journey straight to the island of Hawaii

The Amadea four-plane departed Fiji nine days ago with a new crew, making a 3,100-mile journey straight to the island of Hawaii

Anthony Coley, Director of Public Affairs at the US Department of Justice, shared the news on Twitter, adding in a second tweet that the US is

Anthony Coley, Director of Public Affairs at the US Department of Justice, shared the news on Twitter, adding in a second tweet that the US is “deeply grateful to the police and prosecutors of Fiji, whose perseverance and commitment to the rule of law have prompted this action.” have made possible. †

The refitted yacht was last seen about 160 miles off the coast of Hawaii, according to a tracker on the Spire Maritime website. In total, the luxury vessel sailed more than 3,000 miles from Fiji, located in the South Pacific.

“It makes sense that it would go to Honolulu, as it is the closest port to which the US can dock and hold it until it can be removed in any proceeding,” Ian Ralby, chief executive of maritime law firm IR Consilium, told Bloomberg

“That’s a very logical destination,” he added. It remains unknown what the US government plans to do with the yacht once it arrives on US shores.

Lawyers, who claimed to represent the yacht’s owner, said the ship belonged to Russian billionaire Eduardo Khudainatov, who is currently not under US sanctions.

Last month, the Fiji Supreme Court found the appeal unconvincing and lifted a residency order preventing the US from seizing the luxury superyacht.

Chief Justice Kamal Kumar ruled that based on the evidence, the likelihood of defense lawyers appealing to the highest court hearing was “nil to very small” and accepted arguments that leaving Fiji’s superyacht in port from Lautoka ‘the Fijian government is expensive.’

“The fact that the US authorities have committed themselves to pay the costs of the Fiji government is completely irrelevant,” the judge ruled. He said the Amadea “entered the waters of Fiji without any authorization and most likely to evade prosecution by the United States of America.”

The Amadea, pictured in April, was docked at Queens Wharf in Lautoka, Fiji, before being withdrawn by the US government in May after Fiji authorities relinquished rights to the vessel.

The Amadea, pictured in April, was docked at Queens Wharf in Lautoka, Fiji, before being withdrawn by the US government in May after Fiji authorities relinquished rights to the vessel.

Suleiman Kerimov

Eduardo Khudainatov

The FBI has linked the ship with Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov (left), who risks sanctions for his country’s invasion of Ukraine, but lawyers for the yacht’s paper owner have claimed it belonged to Russian billionaire Eduardo Khudainatov (right). ), which is not under US sanction

Fijian Chief Justice Kamal Kumar said the boat cost the country

Fijian Chief Justice Kamal Kumar said the boat cost the country “dearly” and believed he was docked in Fiji to escape US prosecution.

The court’s ruling marked a major victory for the US as it faces obstacles in its efforts to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs around the world.

While those efforts have been welcomed by many opposing the war in Ukraine, some actions have tested the limits of US jurisdiction abroad.

The US removed the motorized craft within an hour or two of the court’s ruling, possibly to ensure the yacht would not become entangled in further legal action.

DailyMail.com has reached out to the US Department of Justice to request comment.

In early May, the Justice Department issued a statement saying the Amadea had been seized in Fiji, but that proved premature after lawyers appealed.

And at that time it was not immediately clear where the US wanted to sail with the Amadea.

Fiji’s Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde said unresolved questions about money laundering and ownership of the Amadea in the US must be resolved

“The decision recognizes Fiji’s commitment to respect international requests for mutual assistance and Fiji’s international obligations,” Pryde said.

In court documents, the FBI linked the Amadea to the Kerimov family through their alleged use of onboard code names and purchases of items such as a pizza oven and spa bed.

The FBI said a search warrant in Fiji produced emails indicating that Kerimov’s children were on board the ship this year and that the crew were using code names – G0 for Kerimov, G1 for his wife, G2 for his daughter and so on.

The department said it found a text message on a crew member’s phone that read “We’re not going to Russia,” followed by a “silent” emoji.

Fijian Chief Justice Kamal Kumar said last month that the chances of defense lawyers appealing to the highest court were

Fijian Chief Justice Kamal Kumar said last month that the chances of defense lawyers appealing to the highest court were “nil to very slim”.

About the length of a football field, the 100-foot ship has a live lobster tank, hand-painted piano, swimming pool and large helipad.

About the length of a football field, the 100-foot ship has a live lobster tank, hand-painted piano, swimming pool and large helipad.

About the length of a football field, the 100-foot ship has a live lobster tank, hand-painted piano, swimming pool and large helipad.

Attorney Feizal Haniff, who represented paper owner Millemarin Investments, had argued that the owner was another wealthy Russian who, unlike Kerimov, is not being punished.

The US acknowledged that the paperwork appeared to show Khudainatov was the owner, but said he was also the paper owner of a second and even larger superyacht, the Scheherazade, which has been linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Khudainatov is the former chairman and chief executive of Rosneft, the state-controlled Russian oil and gas company.

The US wondered if Khudainatov could really afford two superyachts worth more than $1 billion in total.

“The fact that Khudainatov is being held up as the owner of two of the largest superyachts ever, both linked to sanctioned individuals, suggests that Khudainatov is being used as a clean, unsanctioned straw owner to hide the real beneficial owners,” the statement said. FBI. wrote in an affidavit from the court.

Court documents say the Amadea turned off his transponder shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine and sailed from the Caribbean through the Panama Canal to Mexico, where he arrived with more than $100,000 in cash.

It then sailed thousands of miles across the Pacific to Fiji.

The Justice Department said it did not believe there was any paperwork indicating that the Amadea would go to the Philippines next time, arguing that it was really destined for Vladivostok or elsewhere in Russia.

The US said Kerimov secretly bought the Cayman Island-sailing Amadea last year through several shell companies.

Kerimov made a fortune investing in Russian gold producer Polyus, with Forbes magazine estimating his net worth at $14.5 billion.

The US first imposed sanctions on him in 2018 after he was detained in France and charged with money laundering, sometimes arriving with suitcases filled with 20 million euros.

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