Russian Superyacht Seized by U.S. Arrives in American Port


The super yacht Amadea passes San Diego as it comes into the San Diego Bay | Image by Gregory Bull/KBPS

The $300 million superyacht the U.S. seized in May from a sanctioned Russian oligarch in Fiji sailed into San Diego Bay on Monday morning. The craft, known as the Amadea, is nearly 350 feet long and features a swimming pool and landing pad for helicopters.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) identified Suleiman Kerimov as the ship’s owner. He is a gold investor with a family net worth of $14.5 billion, Forbes reports.

The DOJ said the plan is to sell the Amadea eventually, but no specifics were given as to when the sale would occur, reports KNX News.

“The successful seizure and transport of Amadea would not have been possible without extraordinary cooperation from our foreign partners in the global effort to enforce U.S. sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine,” the DOJ said in a statement on June 28.

The U.S. sanctioned Kerimov in 2018 after accusations of money laundering related to purchasing French villas, reports Bloomberg. The European Union sanctioned Kerimov in March, Business Insider reports.

In March, the DOJ created Task Force KleptoCapture to enforce the sanctions the U.S. and its foreign allies imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine, reports The Dallas Express.

Two months later, on May 5, the Department of Justice announced it had seized the Amadea in Fiji.

“This ruling should make clear that there is no hiding place for the assets of individuals who violate U.S. laws,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. “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.”

After winning a court battle in Fiji — a dispute over the yacht’s owner — the U.S. sailed the ship from the South Pacific Island on June 7. The superyacht stopped in Hawaii last week before sailing into San Diego on Monday.

Previously, American and Spanish law enforcement agents seized a 250-foot Russian boat moored in Spain on April 4. The luxury yacht belonged to Russian magnate Viktor Vekselberg, reports The Dallas Express.

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