The US is trying to seize a yacht it claims belongs to sanctioned oligarch Suleyman Kerimov, per AP.But Millemarin Investments, its registered owner, says the beneficial owner is Eduard Khudainatov.Kerimov is said to be close to the Kremlin and faces accusations of money laundering.LoadingSomething is loading.The US is trying to seize a yacht in Fiji that it claims belongs to a sanctioned Russian oligarch, but defence lawyers say it’s owned by someone else.US authorities say the superyacht, the Amadea, is linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleyman Kerimov, per a report by AP. Kerimov is said to be close to the Kremlin and faces accusations of money laundering and failing to pay taxes. But defense lawyers have claimed in court that the vessel is owned by Eduard Khudainatov, former chairman and CEO of Kremlin-controlled energy giant Rosneft, per AP. Khudainatov hasn’t been sanctioned.The Amadea is barred from leaving Fiji’s waters under a restraining order granted by the country’s high court in Suva on April 19, one week after it arrived there from Mexico.The Amadea is yet another example of the difficulties in determining the beneficial owner of a vessel, which can be different to the registered owner. The vessel is registered in the Cayman Islands and owned by Cayman Islands-based Millemarin Investments, AP reported. Millemarin’s lawyers claimed in court that the company is the vessel’s legal owner and is linked to Khudainatov, the beneficial owner, per AP.The high court has ordered Fijian prosecutors to add Millemarin as a respondent in the case alongside Kerimov, per AP.A spokesperson for Fiji’s director of public prosecutions told Insider on April 20 that legal ownership of the Amadea was “still subject to investigation.”As well as the US’s warrant to seize the vessel, Fiji authorities are looking into allegations of money laundering and possible breaches of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone related to the vessel, per the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation. Police said that the Amadea had arrived in Fiji without customs clearance, Reuters previously reported.Millemarin’s lawyers said there was no evidence that the Amadea was the result of criminal proceedings, per the FBC.Millemarin’s lawyers, the US Treasury, the US Department of Justice, the US Embassy in Fiji, and Fiji’s director of public prosecutions did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.The case has been adjourned until May 3, when a judge is set to determine whether the US can seize the vessel, per AP.As well as targeting Russian businesses, finances, and industry, the West has been sanctioning Russian elites to put pressure on President Vladimir Putin to stop his invasion of Ukraine.Kerimov, a member of the Russian Federation Council, was sanctioned by the EU and UK on March 15. The EU said that Kerimov is “a member of the inner circle of oligarchs” close to Putin. It also said he was among those who met the Russian president at the Kremlin in late February to discuss Western sanctions. Kerimov had already been sanctioned by the US in 2018, which said he had been accused of money laundering in France and failing to pay $432 million in taxes on villas.Kerimov is worth around $14.3 billion, per Bloomberg estimates. He owns Nafta Moscow, a financial and industrial group in Russia. His family owns a controlling stake in Polyus Gold, which claims to be Russia’s biggest gold producer.The Amadea is close to 350 feet long and has lodgings for 16 guests across eight cabins. It was built by German yacht makers Lürssen and amenities include a gym, beauty salon, bar, and glass elevator. It also has an infinity pool, another pool on the owner’s private terrace, a jacuzzi, and a helipad.


Source: www.businessinsider.com