A $300 million 348-foot motor Cayman-flagged superyacht, called Amadea, fitted with twin 5,800 horsepower engines, owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, an economist and former Russian politician, was seized by Fijian authorities in Lautoka on behalf of the U.S. The luxury vessel arrived in Fiji last month after an 18-day voyage across the Pacific from Mexico.There’s speculation the superyacht was making its way to the Russian port of Vladivostok. Previously, in March, the Biden administration announced a new task force, dubbed KleptoCapture, to enforce sweeping U.S. and allied sanctions imposed on Russian elites who have helped to finance President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukrain. Kerimov was an oligarch who profited from the Russian government through corruption and its illegal annexation of Crimea. “We will use every means of enforcing the sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement.
Kerimov is estimated to be worth $15.6 billion. He made fortune investing in Russian gold producer Polyus”According to court documents, Kerimov owned the Amadea after his designation. Additionally, Kerimov and those acting on his behalf and for his benefit caused U.S. dollar transactions to be routed through U.S. financial institutions for the support and maintenance of the Amadea,” The Justice Department said in a statement, Thursday. Defense lawyers had claimed the yacht actually belonged to another Russian oligarch, former Rosneft executive Eduard Khudainatov, who is not currently sanctioned. Various governments have gone after moguls’ villas, planes and pleasure boats seizing a lot of them.