Fiji seizes $300m superyacht ‘Amadea’ from sanctioned Russian oligarch

Luxury vessel linked to oligarch Suleiman Kerimov

The superyacht 'Amadea' is docked at the Queens Wharf in Lautoka, Fiji. AP

A Fiji court on Tuesday ordered the seizure of a superyacht reportedly owned by a Russian oligarch who is under sanctions, officials have said.

A restraining order filed last month by the Pacific island nation's director of public prosecutions revealed the US's intention to seize the vessel.

The yacht Amadea arrived in Fiji early last month, after leaving Mexico and crossing the Pacific.

It is estimated to be worth more than $300 million and has been linked in some reports to Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, a target of US and European Union sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Several yacht-tracking sites list Mr Kerimov as the owner but this could not be independently confirmed.

The court in the Pacific island's capital Suva “has granted the order to seize the superyacht Amadea” after a US warrant for its seizure was filed last month, Fiji's director of public prosecutions said in a statement.

The court had already ruled on April 19 that Fijian authorities could block the vessel from leaving the country's territorial waters while awaiting a decision on the US warrant.

The 107-metre superyacht has a pool, Jacuzzi, helipad and “winter garden” on the sun deck, the website says.

US seizes Russian oligarch's yacht – in pictures

A superyacht agent in Fiji acting for the Amadea told Reuters the vessel's lawyers were contesting that Mr Kerimov was the owner.

Registration records viewed by Reuters show the yacht is registered to a company in the Cayman Islands.

Mr Kerimov was sanctioned by the US in 2014 and 2018 in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine and Syria.

Authorities in various countries have seized luxury vessels and villas owned by Russian billionaires in response to sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special military operation.

Updated: May 03, 2022, 10:13 AM