Fijian authorities seize Russian-owned superyacht on US’ behalf


Fijian law enforcement have executed a seizure warrant on request from the US freezing the 348ft superyacht Amadea owned by sanctioned oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.

Assisted by the FBI, Fijian authorities seized the yacht following of a warrant from a US district court. It found that Amadea is subject to forfeiture based on probable violations of US law, including money laundering and conspiracy. The yacht is now in Lautoka, Fiji.

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Kerimov as part of a group of oligarchs who profit from the Russian government through corruption. OFAC also cited Kerimov as a Russian government official and a member of the Russian Federation Counsel.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, said: “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. The Justice Department will be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable those who facilitate the death and destruction we are witnessing in Ukraine.”

The seizure was organised through the US’ task force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement force dedicated to enforcing sanctions, export controls, and economic countermeasures that the US has imposed in response to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

FBI director Christopher Wray, said: “This seizure demonstrates the FBI’s persistence in pursuing sanctioned Russian oligarchs attempting to evade accountability for their role in jeopardising our national security. The FBI, along with our international partners, will continue to seek out those individuals who contribute to the advancement of Russia’s malign activities and ensure they are brought to justice, regardless of where, or how, they attempt to hide.”