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Thursday February 22, 2024

Russian oligarch’s seized yacht costs $7m a year to maintain: US

Khudainatov claims ownership of Amadea, and has said it cannot not be forfeited because he has not been sanctioned

By REUTERS
February 13, 2024
The yacht Amadea arrives at Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii in 2022. — AFP/File
The yacht Amadea arrives at Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii in 2022. — AFP/File

NEW YORK: The US government said it is spending more than $7 million a year to maintain a superyacht it seized from a sanctioned Russian oligarch, and urged a judge to let it auction the vessel before a dispute over its ownership is resolved.

Authorities in Fiji seized the 348-foot, $300 million Amadea in May 2022, pursuant to a US warrant alleging it was owned by Suleiman Kerimov, a multibillionaire sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in 2014 and 2018 in response to Russia’s activities in Syria and Ukraine.

Efforts to auction the yacht are being challenged by Eduard Khudainatov, who led Russian state oil and gas company Rosneft ROSN.MM from 2010 to 2013.Khudainatov claims ownership of the Amadea, and has said it cannot not be forfeited because he has not been sanctioned.

In a court filing late on Friday, federal prosecutors in Manhattan told US District Judge Dale Ho that the $600,000 average monthly maintenance bill for the Amadea has been “excessive,” justifying an auction.