Antiguan law enforcement search sanctioned superyacht


Antiguan and Barbudan authorities have searched sanctioned Russian-owned superyacht, Alfa Nero as part of an ongoing FBI investigation. The findings of the operation will be published later this week, according to the Antiguan prime minister’s chief of staff, Lionel Hurst.

Alfa Nero (pictured), which docked on the Caribbean Island in February, was searched at Falmouth Harbour, by the local law enforcement on August 20th.  FBI officials were granted permission to observe the operation.

Hurst said the search was conducted days after the US government sought Antigua’s and Barbuda’s assistance to conduct a search of the vessel and interview its crew.

The yacht and its owner, Andrey Guryev, are on sanctions lists issued by the US, European Union and the UK. Guryev, the former head of fertiliser producer PhosAgro, is thought to be worth $11.4bn according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

As the vessel is sanctioned, local businesses were advised not to conduct any transactions associated with it.

In a statement, the Antiguan and Barbudan Ministry of Foreign affairs said: “Consequently, the Alfa Nero was not provided with any fuel, except emergency supplies to keep it secure – both for the vessel’s sake and for the safety of Falmouth Harbour as a whole. Therefore, it could not leave Antigua and Barbuda.”

Last month two other vessels, Garcon and Halo, believed to be Russian owned left the island. Currently, neither appear on the sanctions list. Garcon was last seen in Turkey.

Meanwhile, another sanctioned vessel, Axioma will be sold to the highest bidder at a judicial auction in Gibraltar today (August 23rd). Axioma will be the first seized yacht belonging to a sanctioned individual to be publicly sold since sanctions were imposed earlier this year.

Image credit: Yacht Charter Fleet