Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Documents found by Fiji on superyacht implicate its Russian owner - FBI

World May 06, 2022 12:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO - A screen grab from a drone video footage shows a Russian-owned superyacht 'Amadea' docked at Queens Wharf in Lautoka, Fiji May 3, 2022. Reuters TV via REUTERS

By Kirsty Needham

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Fiji authorities searching a yacht they seized on behalf of the United States as it presses Russia over the invasion of Ukraine have found documents implicating its suspected owner, Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, in breaking U.S. law, the FBI said.

The Amadea arrived in Fiji on April 13, after an 18-day voyage from Mexico, and has since been the focus of a U.S. bid to seize it as part of U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Fiji police and FBI agents seized the Amadea at a wharf on Thursday, two days after a Fiji court granted a U.S. warrant that linked it to money laundering.

Fiji's High Court on Friday refused a stay application by the vessel's registered owner, Millemarin Investments, to stop U.S. authorities removing it from Fiji, Fiji's public prosecutor said in a statement.

The $300 million superyacht had been handed over to U.S. authorities, it said.

The FBI said in an affidavit attached to the U.S. seizure warrant that Fiji authorities had found documents on the Amadea showing breaches of U.S. law because Kerimov was sanctioned by the United States in 2018.

"There is probable cause to believe that Kerimov and those acting on his behalf and for his benefit caused U.S. dollar transactions for the operation and maintenance of the Amadea to be sent through U.S. financial institutions, after a time which Kerimov was designated by the Treasury Department," the FBI said.

The vessel had running costs of $25 million to $30 million, it said.

Lawyers for its registered owner, Cayman Islands company Millemarin Investments, have denied it is owned by Kerimov. The vessel's lawyer, Feizal Haniff, declined to comment to Reuters on Friday.

The U.S. alleges Kerimov has beneficially owned the Amadea since August 2021 but evidence for this claim was redacted in the warrant.

The FBI said the Amadea had tried to avoid being seized "almost immediately" after Russian troops entered Ukraine.

"Amadea turned off its automated information systems (AIS) on February 24, 2022, almost immediately after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine," the FBI said.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation" to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West say the fascist allegation is baseless and that the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.

The vessel's paperwork showed the next destination would be the Philippines but the FBI believed it was headed to the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok.

Many Russian oligarchs have attempted to move their yachts to Russia to escape U.S. sanctions since March, the FBI said.

The U.S. Justice Department's Taskforce KleptoCapture has focused on seizing yachts and other luxury assets to put the finances of Russian oligarchs under strain in a bid to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, commenting on the seizure of the Amadea in Fiji, said in a statement: "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."

Documents found by Fiji on superyacht implicate its Russian owner - FBI
 

Related Articles

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now By Reuters - Jul 02, 2022 27

(Reuters) - Powerful explosions rocked the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv early on Saturday, the mayor said, a day after authorities said at least 21 people were killed when Russian...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email