December 2, 2022

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Fiji imposes sanctions on the $325 million Russian oligarch superyacht

Fiji imposes sanctions on the $325 million Russian oligarch superyacht
  • A High Court of Fiji has issued an order restricting the use of a large yacht linked to Suleiman Karimov.
  • But a Fiji government spokesman said a US order to seize the ship had not yet been registered.
  • Sanctions have been imposed on Karimov by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. The European Union has said it is close to Putin.

A $325 million luxury yacht linked to Russia’s sanctioned oligarchs Suleiman Karimov He will not be allowed to leave Fiji waters after the country’s Supreme Court issued a restraining order against the ship.

The United States is seeking to seize the Amadea, which arrived in the Pacific nation on April 13 after an 18-day voyage from Mexico. Fiji’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Christopher Pride, Filed orders With the High Court on Tuesday “request orders (1) to restrain the motor yacht Amadea from leaving Fijian waters until the completion of an application to register an order for property requisition and (2) to be a US registered Amadea forfeiture order.”

A Pride spokesperson told Insider on Wednesday: “The DPP has received authorization to move forward from the Attorney General of Fiji after Fiji received a formal request for MLA from the United States government.”

The spokesman said the Supreme Court in Suva, the capital of Fiji, on Tuesday granted an order to restrict Amadea’s movement. They said that “the issue of registering the US arrest warrant will have to be determined at a later time” with the next court hearing on the matter scheduled for Thursday. The spokesperson added that the legal ownership of Amadea “is still under investigation.”

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Western countries have Imposing sweeping sanctions on Russia After President Vladimir Putin ordered the entry of troops into Ukraine. In addition to targeting business, finance, and industry in Russia, the West has been Punishment of the Russian elites To pressure the country to stop the invasion.

Karimov, a member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, was punished by European Union And United kingdom On March 15, the European Union said Karimov was a “member of the oligarch’s inner circle” close to Putin, and that he attended an oligarchic meeting with Putin in the Kremlin in late February to discuss the impact of Western sanctions.

Karimov was already Punished by the United States in 2018who said he was accused of money laundering in France and Not paying taxes of 400 million euros ($432 million) in the villas.

Karimov is worth about $14.3 billion, according to estimates Bloomberg Billionaires Index. he is Owns NAFTA Moscowa financial and industrial group in Russia, and his family owns A controlling share In Polius Gold, which It claims to be the largest gold producer in Russia.

France, Italy and Spain are among the countries Confiscation of assets owned by sanctioned oligarchsincluding their own planes, luxury yachtsand property. The first yacht seized under recent US sanctions was the $90 million luxury yacht tango – He is believed to belong to the sanctioned Russian oligarch, Victor Vekselberg – who was detained by authorities on the Spanish island of Mallorca on April 4, at the request of the US Department of Justice.

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Some Russian elites are moving yachts, private jets and shareholders — apparently to avoid sanctions. Kerimov’s ship, Amadea, is docked in Lautoka, Fiji’s second largest cityon April 13 after sailing from the Pacific coast of Mexico, data from the ship tracking website marine traffic offers. Fiji has not imposed sanctions on Russia.

An official at the National Police Command and Control Center had previously told Reuters The captain of the yacht has been questioned by the policewho said the ship arrived in Fiji without customs clearance.

Karimov’s son, Saeed Karimov, owns the luxury yacht iceIts value is estimated at $170 million.

Insider requested comment from the US Treasury and the US Department of Justice, as well as the US Embassy in Fiji.