Antigua and Barbuda Government to auction ‘abandoned’ superyacht


Alfa Nero, courtesy of Merjin der Waard, SuperYachtTimes.

The Antigua and Barbuda Government plans to auction superyacht Alfa Nero after it was “abandoned” in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua in February last year. The 82m (269ft) Oceanco yacht has previously been linked with criminal investigations and Russian oligarchs.

Ambassador Lionel Hurst, chief of staff to the Office of the Prime Minister, Antigua and Barbuda Government told Superyacht Investor that the owner has yet to collect the yacht.

“Alfa Nero has been in the harbour for over a year,” he said. “In situations like this, we issue a statement in the media requesting the owner to come and collect the vessel within 10 days. But the owner is yet to respond.”

The government note in the local media said: “If the owner fails to claim the vessel within that [10-day] time period, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, having declared the vessel a hazard to shipping and to the harbour where it is moored, will sell it to the highest bidder.”

If no owner claims the vessel, the sale could net the Antigua and Barbuda Government millions of dollars. According to the SuperYachtTimes, Alfa Nero’s asking price was €115m ($122.6m) when the vessel was last sold in 2011 (pictured).

Alfa Nero is allegedly owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch, Andrey Guryev and was arrested and searched in August 2022. Both the yacht and Guryev are on sanctions lists issued by the US, EU and the UK.  The former head of fertiliser producer PhosAgro, Guryev, is thought to be worth $11.4bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

However according to ambassador Hurst, even after the search by Antiguan authorities, the ultimate beneficial owner remains unknown. “We don’t know who the owner is. All we know is that it is a registered company, but we can’t definitively confirm who the individual owner is. This is why the vessel has remained in the harbour for all this time,” he said. He also claimed the FBI was not involved in the search.

The yacht has not moved from Falmouth Harbour since February 2022 and is now deemed a risk by the government. “It is still in an area where it could cause damage to the harbour and other ships,” said Hurst. “It’s not necessarily blocking the waterways now, but it is in a position where if it sinks in a storm, there would be a serious problem.”

Hurst confirmed if the vessel is sold, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda would keep the proceeds of the sale. “This is after all the creditors have been paid off. You have to remember it has received fuel and water for over a year and the owner hasn’t paid a thing.” The yacht’s exact total outstanding bill is currently undisclosed.

The ambassador added that he could not confirm the exact date of the auction, as the government might extend the length of the response period beyond the 10 days in hope that the owner comes forward to move the vessel.

But at the end of the day, we just want it out of the harbour,” said Hurst. “As it stands the owner hasn’t made a claim, so we will proceed with the auction in the coming weeks.”

Image: Courtesy of, courtesy of Merijn de Waard, SuperYachtTimes