A massive $325 million superyacht owned by a Russian oligarch — and seized on behalf of the United States last month — has made its way across the Pacific and into American custody.
“After a transpacific journey of over 5,000 miles, the Amadea has safely docked in a port within the United States, and will remain in the custody of the U.S. government, pending its anticipated forfeiture and sale,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.
The Amadea, a 384 foot behemoth topped with four massive radar domes came into San Diego Bay Monday flying the American flag.
According to the DOJ, prior to its seizure the ship was owned by Suleiman Kerimov, an alleged money launderer sanctioned by the US in 2018 over the Russian annexation of Crimea.
The ship was seized last month by Task Force KleptoCapture, a DOJ team launched in March to seize the assets of Kremlin allies and Russian elites in an effort to pressure Moscow to end the war in Ukraine.
A legal battle ensued, however, as an attorney for the company that owns the vessel — Millemarin Investments — argued that the Amadea was actually the property of a different wealthy Russian, one who was not under US sanction.
US officials argued in Fijian court that that Russian, Eduard Khudainatov, was merely the owner on paper — and that he is similarly the “paper owner” of a yacht believed to truly belong to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US questioned how Khudainatov could afford some $1 billion in boats.
“The fact that Khudainatov is being held out as the owner of two of the largest superyachts on record, both linked to sanctioned individuals, suggests that Khudainatov is being used as a clean, unsanctioned straw owner to conceal the true beneficial owners,” the FBI wrote in a court affidavit.
Ultimately, the Fijian court ruled in the DOJ’s favor. The Amadea made one stop in Honolulu, according to American authorities, before sailing for San Diego.
With Post wires