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U.S. To Seize Amadea

The U.S Government will seize the Russian owned luxury superyacht, Amadea docked at the Queens wharf in Lautoka.
17 Apr 2022 11:16
U.S. To Seize Amadea
An aerial view of the superyacht Amadea at the Queens Wharf in the Port of Lautoka on April 15, 2022. INSET: Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho. Photo: Leon Lord

The U.S Government will seize the Russian owned luxury superyacht, Amadea docked at the Queens wharf in Lautoka.

Sources have confirmed that the U.S Attorney-General’s Office has written to its Fijian counterpart.

On Friday the U.S Embassy in Suva, in reply to questions, said: “The United States is committed to finding and seizing the assets of the oligarchs who have supported the Russian Federation’s brutal, unprovoked war of choice against Ukraine.

“We and several of our E.U. partners have already frozen or seized many assets of these oligarchs. We are working closely with governments and private sector partners in Europe, and the entire world, including Fiji, on this issue. We are aware of reports the yacht Amadea has docked in Lautoka and are cooperating with Fijian authorities on the matter.”

On Wednesday, Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho had confirmed seizing the yacht for allegedly breaching customs clearance after arriving within Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Russian superyacht, Amadea at the Port of Lautoka on April 15, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Russian superyacht, Amadea at the Port of Lautoka on April 15, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Crew members were questioned and remain in Police custody.

On Friday, the Police chief went on board the US$325million superyacht to get an update on investigations.

It is believed that the majority of the crew members are not Russian citizens. They are alleged to be from the United Kingdom.

Fiji Sun is yet to establish whether the crew are from England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

It is understood that more U.S enforcement counterparts of both the Fiji Police and Fiji Revenue and Customs Service will arrive in the country over the next few days to support the investigations.

The initial stopover for Amadea was for two days. But Brigadier-General Qiliho said the investigation may take some time.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho at Port of Lautoka on April 15, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho at Port of Lautoka on April 15, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

“Some of these issues, as you understand, end up in the courts of law and that is why we cannot be running daily running commentaries on what is going on because we must allow the investigations to take their course so we can come to that solid conclusion at the end of the investigation.

“We are not leaving any stones unturned. As we speak, we have a Police team going to the spot where the superyacht is alleged to have stopped over briefly before getting the customs clearance that they were supposed to get before stopping in any of our Fiji waters. So that team went up early Friday morning. We are interested in that spot and that is part of the investigation process that we are going through.”

The Police Commissioner did not disclose the exact location, but maintained that it was within Fiji’s EEZ.

While all crew members have been questioned, Amadea’s captain was of special interest to the investigating team.

This is because of his role in the alleged breach of the customs regulation when the superyacht arrived into Fiji’s waters, Brigadier-General Qiliho said.

All crew members were well and were confined to the yacht while the questioning and other investigations were done in the vicinity of the Lautoka Port.

Embassies that had crew members on board had already been in touch and linked with them.



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