FBI Seizes $300M Mega-Yacht Owned By Russian Oligarch

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Vladimir Putin hasn’t just angered and horrified people around the world, he’s likely to lose the support of his wealthy friends thanks to sanctions imposed after he attacked the smaller, vulnerable country of Ukraine.

In Fiji, the FBI seized a $300 million yacht they say is owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, whose family is worth more than $16.5 billion, although attorneys for Kerimov say the yacht does not belong to him. Kerimov was sanctioned by the European Union, Great Britain, and the United States earlier this year, and law enforcement in Fiji say that Kerimov illegally funded and maintained the yacht through crimes such as money laundering.

According to Forbes:

‘Law enforcement in Fiji, along with the FBI, seized the 348-foot Amadea after a U.S. district court found the yacht was subject to seizure because Kerimov broke the law to fund and maintain the boat, including laundering U.S. dollars, the DOJ said in a press release.’

A task force that enforces the terms of the sanctions has seized yachts and other properties from Russian oligarchs since the war in Ukraine began. The corruption in Russia is the target, with only the very wealthy in Russia suffering consequences.

‘The Justice Department established the Task Force KleptoCapture in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which enforces the sanctions the U.S. has levied on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. During President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, he vowed that the U.S. and its allies were coming for Russian oligarchs, as well as “their yachts [and] their luxury apartments.’

The seizures should come as no surprise to oligarchs like Kerimov, who were repeatedly warned that sanctions would be imposed on those connected to Putin who were caught breaking the law

In a statement released the Department of Justice,

‘Last month, I warned that the department had its eyes on every yacht purchased with dirty money. This yacht seizure should tell every corrupt Russian oligarch that they cannot hide – not even in the remotest part of the world.’