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US court blocks government sale of seized Russian oligarch's yacht

US court blocks government sale of seized Russian oligarch's yacht Photo: Russian oligarch's yacht Amadea (

The New York court has denied the US government the right to sell the luxurious yacht Amadea belonging to a Russian businessman, which was seized back in 2022. The proceeds from the sale of the vessel were intended to be transferred to Ukraine's benefit, according to Voice of America.

According to the US government, the super-yacht belongs to Russian businessman Suleiman Kerimov, who is under sanctions.

Two years ago in May, Fiji confiscated the Amadea vessel, subsequently handing it over to the USA.

Expenses for the confiscated yacht

It is worth noting that the US taxpayer is required to spend about $740,000 a month on maintenance and insurance for the 106-meter Amadea.

In order to reduce these costs, the US government requested permission to sell the vessel and convert its value into cash. Such practices are quite common in cases of civil forfeiture when the asset's value depreciates rapidly or its upkeep becomes too expensive.

Thus, the United States government sought to sell this super-yacht, estimated at $230 million, and transfer the proceeds to Ukraine as part of its support efforts.

Court proceedings and verdict

Meanwhile, legal proceedings are still ongoing, as the case of civil forfeiture became complicated after another Russian billionaire, Eduard Khudainatov, who is not under US sanctions, claimed ownership of Amadea.

In considering the case, the Southern District Court of New York this week ruled that the expenses for maintaining Amadea were not "excessive."

According to the court's ruling, in order to assess whether the maintenance expenses for Amadea are excessive, American court should not "look solely at the total dollar amount of the maintenance costs, but must principally consider whether those amounts are more than what is usual as compared to the maintenance costs for other similar yachts."

Thus, the court ruled that the government failed to prove that the expenses met this standard.

It is worth adding that the US Department of Justice has the right to appeal this decision.

Attempts by the oligarch to lift the yacht's arrest

In addition, two days after the decision was made, attorneys for Khudainatov and the company directly owning Amadea filed a memorandum opposing attempts by the US government to exclude Khudainatov from the case.

Although the prosecution claims that Khudainatov is not the actual owner of the yacht and has no right to challenge its confiscation, the memorandum from his defenders states that he is indeed the true owner, and thus Amadea is not subject to confiscation at all.

In June 2022, the USA won a legal battle over the arrest of the Russian super-yacht Amadea in Fiji. At that time, the United States took control of the vessel worth $325 million and relocated it from the southern part of the Pacific Ocean.

Earlier, it was reported that the United States imposed sanctions on two yachts linked to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin