The Antigua and Barbuda government wants an abandoned $81 million superyacht out of its harbor.
In a notice on March 21, the government of the Caribbean nation declared the vessel “abandoned” and said it intends to sell it, unless removed, to pay off the money it owes for food and fuel.
Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said on March 20 that his government had received offers of over $50 million for the 267-foot yacht, according to the Daily Observer, a local media outlet. The yacht, named the Alfa Nero, has a gym, a hair salon, and an infinity pool.
The US Department of the Treasury previously linked the Alfa Nero super to Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev, who the department said is a “close associate” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Guryev — who is the founder of fertilizer company PhosAgro and has a net worth of $10.1 billion — has been sanctioned by the US, the UK, and the EU for his links to the Kremlin amid the Ukraine war.
On Tuesday, a legal representative for Guryev told Bloomberg that the vessel does not belong to the tycoon.
“As we have informed the Antiguan authorities, Mr Guryev neither owns nor controls the Alfa Nero and has simply used the vessel from time to time under commercial charter since 2014,” said the representative, per Bloomberg.
Running out of money to feed its crew
With the luxury vessel running up a large bill, Antigua and Barbuda authorities still plan to sell it if no one claims its ownership by March 31, Bloomberg reported, citing the Antigua port manager.
The authorities intend to use the yacht’s sale proceeds to pay down a $500,000 debt it owes to the Antigua Yacht Club Marina for fuel, per Daily Observer. The rest is to be used toward the development of Antigua and Barbuda.
Browne said in a March 16 Facebook post that the vessel was also running out of money to feed its crew. It has been in the Caribbean nation for more than 18 months, he said.
The yacht also poses a risk to the Antigua harbor, Browne told the Daily Observer.
“Anything could go wrong. Maybe some of the doors could open and start to take on water and it sinks,” Browne said. He added the Alfa Nero could also be uninsured and this could cause issues for the harbor.
“We are talking about billions of dollars of assets in that harbor. And you can imagine if that vessel was to catch fire what will happen,” Browne said, according to the Daily Observer.
Falmouth Harbour, where the Alfa Nero is moored, is a hub for luxury yachts.
Guryev did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent via PhosAgro.
Source : Insider