A superyacht was seized by Fijian authorities at the request of the United States, the US Justice Department announced Thursday.
The United States says the 100-meter yacht, the Amadea, is owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, who was previously sanctioned for alleged money laundering.
Kerimov made a fortune by investing in Russian gold producer Polyus, with Forbes magazine putting his net worth at $ 14.5 billion. The yacht is worth more than $ 300 million (€ 285.2 million).
Defense lawyers said the yacht actually belonged to another Russian oligarch.
The former Russian politician was sanctioned by the United States in 2018 and faced further censorship from Canada, Europe, Britain and other nations during the war in Ukraine.
Earlier this week, a Fijian judge had allowed US authorities to seize the yacht, but had suspended the order to allow defense attorneys to challenge it.
The United States Department of Justice said Fiji authorities have now served a search warrant for the freezing of the yacht, which had previously been barred from leaving the South Pacific nation.
“This ruling should make it clear that there is no hiding place for the assets of people who violate US law. And there is no hiding place for the assets of the criminals who enable the Russian regime, “said US Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“The Justice Department will be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable those who facilitate the death and destruction we are witnessing in Ukraine.”
It was coordinated by the US Department of Justice’s Task Force KleptoCapture, a law enforcement task force to enforce “sanctions, export controls, and economic countermeasures” that the US and its allies have imposed on Russia. due to the war in Ukraine.