Seized ‘Russian’ superyacht costs Antigua a fortune – Bloomberg – RT Business News

The luxury vessel believed to be owned by a fertilizer magnate has racked up huge bills, the outlet reports

Sanctioned superyacht Alfa Nero has racked up huge unpaid bills since docking in Falmouth Harbor in Antigua last April, Bloomberg reported this week. It would cost tens of thousands of dollars a month just to keep the ship afloat.

The yacht, believed to be owned by Russian fertilizer billionaire Andrey Guryev, is 82 meters tall and boasts luxury amenities including seven cabins, a gym, spa and swimming pool that doubles as a helipad.

The Alfa Nero has not been moved since arriving on the island, part of the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, after the US and UK imposed sanctions on its alleged owner following the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine last year.

The $120 million floating palace was recently deemed a hazard to the port and the marine environment as it must constantly burn diesel to power everything on board. The ship’s crew has not been paid, nor has the supplier of the fuel the ship has consumed since arriving on the island.

Of the 44 crew members, only six remain on the yacht while 25 members have filed a lawsuit to recover $2.1 million in unpaid wages, Bloomberg wrote citing Craig Jacas, a local attorney representing them. Crew expenses alone cost $112,000 a month, the news agency said.

“Our clients’ goal is simply to secure what is rightfully due to them”, Jacas said.

Authorities in Antigua and Barbuda have asked the United States to lift sanctions on the yacht so they can sell what they consider to be an abandoned vessel.

“Nobody claimed him, nobody paid his bills. He hoarded money left, right and center, and it became a risk for the port itself,” Sir Ronald Sanders, the country’s ambassador to the United States, told Bloomberg.

The government of Antigua and Barbuda said it had received 20 bids for the vessel. However, the Alfa Nero cannot be auctioned as long as the United States considers it a “blocked” property.

Last week, authorities in the Caribbean nation announced that they “get closer and closer” to sell the superyacht to a buyer.

“Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay debts incurred since the ship sailed into Antigua ports over a year ago. The excess will go to the Consolidated Fund managed by the Treasury of Antigua and Barbuda”, the government said in a statement.

The United States and its allies have imposed sanctions on a number of wealthy Russians over the past year in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. More than two dozen luxury ships worth around $4 billion have been seized in ports around the world.

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