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US wins legal dispute to seize Russian gold tycoon's $300 million superyacht in Fiji - report

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The superyacht Amadea is docked at the Queens Wharf in Lautoka, Fiji, on April 15 2022.
Leon Lord/Fiji Sun via AP, File
  • The US won a legal battle on Friday to seize a Russian oligarch's yacht in Fiji, AP reported.
  • Fiji's Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against the seizure of Suleyman Kerimov's yacht, per AP. 
  • The Amadea yacht was banned from leaving the port in Fiji one week after it arrived on April 12.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The US won a legal dispute on Friday to seize a Russian oligarch's $300 million yacht, which is moored in Fiji, the Associated Press reported.

US authorities have said that the superyacht, called Amadea, is beneficially owned by gold tycoon Suleyman Kerimov, who is on the US, EU, and UK sanctions lists. Amadea was seized in early May by Fjian authorities.

Feizal Haniff, who represents the firm that legally owns the yacht, filed an appeal against the US seizure, which the Fiji's Court of Appeal dismissed on Friday, AP reported. 

Haniff said in the appeal that the US couldn't seize Amadea when it's based in Fiji until a court confirmed who actually owned the vessel, per AP.

The news agency reported that Haniff is planning to bring the case to the country's Supreme Court and is expected to apply for a court order to prevent the US from moving the yacht outside of Fiji before the appeal is heard.

The Court of Appeal said its judgment will take seven days to come into effect as part of the ruling, per AP, which said this would allow for any more appeals to be filed within this time.

The Court of Appeal didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Amadea arrived in Lautoka, Fiji, on April 12 after an 18-day voyage across the Pacific Ocean, but a week later it was banned from leaving because the country's high court granted a restraining order against the vessel, per filed applications.

Fiji's high court then ruled that the US was able to seize Amadea.

Kerimov, who has a net worth of $13.4 billion, per Bloomberg's Billionaire Index, is among the individuals who have been sanctioned for having close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kerimov's family has a controlling stake in Polyus Gold, which claims to be Russia's biggest gold producer, while Kerimov himself owns Nafta Moscow, a Russian financial group.

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