2022 – The report said the crew of a $300 million yacht linked to a Russian oligarch “refuses to set sail” while US officials attempt to seize them.

Amadea in Bodrum, Turkey

  • The United States has been trying for weeks to seize a $300 million yacht linked to a Russian oligarch.
  • But the crew refuses to set sail, according to court documents seen by CBS.
  • The crew fears the collaboration could ruin their reputation in the yachting industry, the outlet reports.

According to court documents obtained by CBS News, the crew of a $300 million luxury yacht linked to a sanctioned Russian oligarch who “refuses to sail with US authorities” trying to seize the ship.

For weeks, US officials have been fighting to seize the Amadea luxury yacht moored in Fiji that the Justice Department says is owned by Russian billionaire Suleiman Karimov. The drawn-out court case was further complicated on May 7 when the ship’s crew refused to help US authorities leave the ship, CBS reported.

The rationale for the crew’s refusal was twofold, based on an affidavit from the ship’s British captain, John Walsh, according to a CBS report.

First, crew members are no longer paid to sail the Amadea because the owner’s funds have been frozen. In addition, the crew fears that violating their employment contract by cooperating with US law enforcement could tarnish their professional reputation, the report said.

“In short, the current crew of the Amadea refuses to sail with US authorities aboard the Amadea to an undisclosed destination,” Walsh wrote, according to CBS.

After the accident, it appears that the United States has hired a new crew for the ship. However, the captain of the boat has repeatedly refused to take new crew members on board due to a lack of proper “verification,” CBS reports.

At 348 feet, the Amadea, equipped with a helipad, swimming pool, and eight cabins, is one of the largest luxury yachts in the world.

Karimov, its alleged owner, was sanctioned by the United States in 2018 and is said to have “close relations” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The billionaire gold tycoon is one of dozens of oligarchs whose foreign assets became pawns in the West’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

So far, the United States has fallen behind its European allies in confiscating the “illicit profits” of sanctioned billionaires, an economic punishment that officials hope will turn the country’s elite against Putin.

The oligarch’s lawyer argued that the real owner of the ship was a Russian oil executive named Eduard Khodinatov, who had no penalties. On Friday, a Fiji court rejected the appeal of the lawyer who prevented the seizure of the ship. He has one week to appeal the decision.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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