US wins legal battle to seize Russian oligarch's superyacht, sails it away

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The U.S. won a legal battle to seize a Russian oligarch's superyacht in Fiji on Tuesday and promptly took command of the vessel and sailed it away.

The U.S. government took the case all the way to the Fiji Supreme Court, which ultimately overturned a stay order on the U.S. acquisition request. Chief Justice Kamal Kumar wrote that chances of oligarch Suleiman Kerimov mounting an effective defense before the court were "nil to very slim," according to the Associated Press.

It is unclear where exactly the U.S. is taking the $325 million Amadea.

"The fact that U.S. authorities have undertaken to pay costs incurred by the Fijian government is totally irrelevant," Kumar wrote, adding that the ship "sailed into Fiji waters without any permit and most probably to evade prosecution by the United States of America."

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FILE – Boat captain Emosi Dawai looks at the superyacht Amadea where it is docked at the Queens Wharf in Lautoka, Fiji, on April 13, 2022.  (Leon Lord/Fiji Sun via AP, File / AP Newsroom)

U.S. officials sailed away the Amadea superyacht after gaining command over it in Fiji. (Justice Department / FOXBusiness)

The U.S. victory comes less than a day after the U.S. obtained warrants to seize Boeing and Gulfstream jets owned by another Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich.

Abramovich obtained the jets, a Boeing 786-8 Dreamliner jet and Gulfstream G650ER, by flaunting U.S. sanctions. The pair of U.S.-made planes flew to Russia without an export license.

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The Boeing remains in Dubai after an early March return trip from Moscow, while the Gulfstream remains in Moscow.

Abramovich is linked to the jets through complicated series of shell companies in the U.S. and across the globe.

A chart in the affidavit detailing the ownership of the planes links Wenham and Clear Skies to a Jersey-based shell company called Wotton Overseas Holdings. Wotton’s shares are owned by a company registered in Cyprus as the Europa Settlement Trust, w (U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York)

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The Boeing is estimated to be worth an estimated $350 million after customizations, while the Gulfstream is worth roughly $60 million.

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