Superyacht seized by U.S. from Russian billionaire arrives in San Diego Bay

A $325 million superyacht seized by the United States from a sanctioned Russian oligarch arrived in San Diego Bay on Monday.

The 348-foot-long (106-meter-long) Amadea flew an American flag as it sailed past the retired aircraft carrier USS Midway and under the Coronado Bridge.

“After a transpacific journey of over 5,000 miles (8,047 kilometers), the Amadea has safely docked in a port within the United States, and will remain in the custody of the U.S. government, pending its anticipated forfeiture and sale,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.

The FBI linked the Amadea to the Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, and the vessel became a target of Task Force KleptoCapture, launched in March to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs to put pressure on Russia to end the war in Ukraine. The U.S. said Kerimov secretly bought the vessel last year through various shell companies.

But Justice Department officials had been stymied by a legal effort to contest the American seizure warrant and by a yacht crew that refused to sail for the U.S. American officials won a legal battle in Fiji to take the Cayman Islands-flagged superyacht earlier this month. 

US-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CONFLICT
Crew members get the mooring ropes ready as the superyacht Amadea, linked to Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, arrives at the Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii, June 16, 2022.

EUGENE TANNER/AFP via Getty Images


The Amadea made a stop in Honolulu Harbor en route to the U.S. mainland. The Amadea boasts luxury features such as a helipad, mosaic-tiled pool, lobster tank and a pizza oven, nestled in a décor of “delicate marble and stones” and “precious woods and delicate silk fabrics,” according to court documents.

“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 Justice Department said.



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