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Court rules Russian oligarch’s $300 million seized superyacht to sail out of Fiji waters because it’s a waste of money for government to maintain

Suleyman Kerimov next to picture of his $300 million superyacht that is docked in Fiji.

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images/Leon Lord/Fiji Sun via AP, File

  • A Fiji court ruled a Russian oligarch’s yacht to leave the island as it’s costing too much money.
  • The yacht, which was seized, has been handed over to US authorities, Fiji said in a statement.
  • The US estimates the yacht’s maintenance costs are between $25 million and $30 million a year. 

A Fiji court ruled on Tuesday that a sanctioned Russian oligarch’s seized yacht must leave the island because it’s costing the government too much money to maintain.

Amadea, a $300 million luxury superyacht, is owned by Russian gold tycoon Suleyman Kerimov, according to US authorities. The vessel has been docked in Fiji since April 12, and has since been seized by Fijian authorities.

Fiji’s supreme court has said in a ruling that public interest demands Amadea to “sail out of Fiji waters” to avoid the vessel wasting more valuable resources.

Amadea “is costing the Fijian Government dearly in terms of its resources,” the court said in the ruling.

The court also said that government resources could be used elsewhere “more meaningfully” instead of using them for a yacht, which traveled to the island without a permit and “most probably to evade prosecution” by the US.

“The fact that US Authorities have undertaken to pay cost incurred by the Fijian Government is totally irrelevant,” the court said in the ruling.

Christopher Pryde, Fiji’s director of public prosecutions, said in a statement: “The Amadea has been handed over to US authorities and will now leave Fiji.”

The US Justice Department estimates the yacht’s running costs add up to between $25 million and $30 million a year. 

Amadea arrived in Fiji from Mexico on April 12 after an 18-day voyage across the Pacific Ocean, but was banned from leaving a week later because of a restraining order. Fiji’s high court then ruled in early May that the US was able to seize Amadea.

Fiji’s police department and the Supreme Court didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment mae out.

Kerimov, a member of the Russian Federation Council, has been sanctioned by the UK, European Union, and the US. His family owns a controlling stake in Polyus Gold, which claims to be Russia’s biggest gold producer, and he owns Nafta Moscow, a financial and industrial group in Russia.

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