STORY: Authorities in Fiji seized a $300 million yacht of Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov on Thursday.
The 348-foot luxury vessel – the Amadea -- arrived in Fiji last month after an 18-day voyage across the Pacific from Mexico.
The U.S requested Fiji to seize the superyacht as its allies imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a special military operation.
Outgoing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the seizure:
“Fijian authorities executed the request, obtaining a domestic seizure warrant from a Fijian court. As you know, the president has made clear we will go after Russian oligarchs and their ill gotten gains using every authority we have to hold them accountable. Oh, and here is the yacht. Look at that. I want to really go with a bang, so we got a yacht -- just to make the point about oligarchs."
The U.S. Justice department’s ‘KleptoCapture’ taskforce has focused on seizing luxury assets of Russian oligarchs, including yachts like Amadea.
Kerimov, the yacht’s owner, was sanctioned by the United States in 2014 and 2018 in response to Russia's actions in Syria and Ukraine.
He has also been sanctioned by the EU.
Kerimov has been designated by the U.S Treasury as part of a group of Russian oligarchs who profit from the Russian government through corruption and its activities around the globe, including the occupation of Crimea.