Washington says the luxury ship is owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.
A court in Fiji has halted the execution of a United States order to confiscate a $300 million yacht that Washington says is owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.
Monday’s announcement followed an application to the Fiji Court of Appeal by Millemarin Investment, the company that officially owns the 106-meter (348-foot) yacht, named Amadea.
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has required that Congress grant him the authority to use the proceeds of seized assets for the benefit of Ukraine, which represents an escalation in the pressure campaign against Moscow.
Fijian authorities last week officially seized the yacht, which reportedly has a helipad, swimming pool, hot tub and “winter garden” on its sundeck, at the request of the US Justice Department.
Amadeo had been seized by police in Fiji for weeks before his seizure, and the US Justice Department said Kerimov had previously been designated “as part of a group of Russian oligarchs who profit from the Russian government through corruption and malign activity.” around the world”.
Kerimov was sanctioned by the US in 2014 and 2018. He has also been sanctioned by the European Union.
The yacht-related case is scheduled to go back to court on Thursday and the US arrest warrant remains officially registered in the Fijian courts, a court spokeswoman told the AFP news agency.
It added that the yacht “has been further restricted from leaving Fijian waters until further notice.”
In March, the US Department of Justice launched the task force Capture of Klepto to specifically target the seizure of yachts and other luxury assets to put pressure on the finances of Russian oligarchs in an attempt to put pressure on Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.
In early April, the US attorney a 77.5-meter (254-foot) yacht in Spain owned by Viktor Vekselberg, a billionaire and close Putin ally who heads Moscow-based Renova Group, a conglomerate encompassing metals, mining, technology and other assets.
On Friday, Italian authorities seized a 140-meter (460-foot) yacht, saying an investigation found “significant economic and commercial links” between the yacht’s owner and “senior elements of the Russian government,” but did not specifically name the Russian president. . .