May 3, 2022 - World

Fiji court rules U.S. can seize $325 million Russian superyacht

The Amadea megayacht anchored in Turkey in February 2020.

The Amadea megayacht anchored in Turkey in February 2020. Photo: Osman Uras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A court in Fiji ruled Tuesday that the U.S. can seize a superyacht worth $325 million that American officials say is owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The U.S. Department of Justice created a task force in March to enforce sanctions, including asset seizures, placed on Russian officials for facilitating the Kremlin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

  • The ruling sets up a battle over who actually owns the Amadea. Lawyers for Millemarin Investments, the vessel's registered owner, have denied that Kerimov is the owner, Reuters reports.
  • Kerimov, an official in the Russian government who controls the largest gold producer in the country, has been sanctioned by the U.S. and European Union for money laundering and tax evasion.
  • If passed by Congress, a plan proposed by the Biden administration would liquidate assets seized from Russian oligarchs and use the proceeds for military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Go deeper: How many Russian oligarchs' yachts have been seized so far

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