US Plans to Auction Russian Oligarch’s $7 Million-a-Year-Yacht

superyacht Amadea in port
The U.S. government is spending over $7 million annually to maintain a seized superyacht from a sanctioned Russian oligarch, urging a judge to auction it off. Fiji confiscated the $300 million, 348-foot yacht, challenging ownership claims from another Russian figure. Prosecutors argue for an auction while the dispute is unresolved, with potential proceeds going to Ukraine.
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The U.S. government is spending over $7 million a year maintaining a superyacht seized from a Russian oligarch and is urging a judge to auction it off before ownership disputes are resolved. The 348-foot Amadeus was confiscated in Fiji in May 2022 on a U.S. arrest warrant alleging it belonged to Suleiman Kerimov, who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. However, Eduard Khudainatov, who claims ownership of the yacht, argues that it cannot be forfeited because he was not sanctioned.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan told U.S. District Judge Dale Ho that the monthly maintenance bill for the Amadeus was excessive and warranted an auction. They also said talks to make Khudainatov pay for the yacht’s upkeep had failed, and he has until February 23 to respond to the prosecutor’s request. The U.S. government is seeking to auction off the yacht and transfer the proceeds to Ukraine, as part of its efforts to pressure Moscow to halt the conflict with Ukraine.

The U.S. government is stepping up enforcement of sanctions against individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. If the government succeeds in auctioning the yacht, it would likely transfer the proceeds to Ukraine. All this comes as the U.S. government seeks to pressure Moscow to halt its conflict with Ukraine.

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