Crime & Justice

Fiji seizes sanctioned Russian oligarch’s yacht at US’ request

Sydney, Australia, May 6 (EFE).- The Fijian authorities on Friday seized a luxury yacht allegedly owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov at the United States’ request, officials said.

Fiji’s High Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of the seizure of the Amadea, a 106-meter-long luxury vessel which the US believes to be worth $300 million or more.

It has been docked in the port of Lautoka since Fijian police detained the Amadea in mid-April for entering the exclusive economic zone of this Pacific nation without authorization.

“This ruling should make clear that there is no hiding place for the assets of individuals who violate US laws. And there is no hiding place for the assets of criminals who enable the Russian regime,” US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement on Thursday (Friday, Fiji time).

“The Justice Department will be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable those who facilitate the death and destruction we are witnessing in Ukraine,” he added.

The US alleges that the luxury yacht belongs to Kerimov, who has a fortune of more than $21 billion, according to Forbes, however the defense has said that the yacht’s real owner is Eduard Khudainatov, who does not appear to be subject to sanctions, Fijian channel FBC TV reported.

Kerimov, who the US authorities say is “part of a group of Russian oligarchs who profit from the Russian government through corruption and its malign activity around the globe, including the occupation of Crimea,” is sanctioned by the European Union, the United Kingdom and the US.

According to the Pandora Papers published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, among other alleged irregularities, Kerimov appointed a Swiss accountant as the owner of some of his companies and properties in order to hide his capital movements. EFE


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