The mystery surrounding the ownership of a superyate abandoned 267-foot docked in Antigua and Barbuda grew up after the lawyers of the russian billionaire Andrey Guriev said his client is not the owner of the boat, and the government went ahead with its plans to auction it off.
He Caribbean country affirms that the Alfa Neroa luxury yacht with capacity for 12 people and an infinity pool that turns into a heliport, pertenece a Guryev, an industrial magnate facing international sanctions. But Guryev’s lawyers in London said the boat is not his.
“As we have informed the Antiguan authorities, Mr. Guryev does not own or control the Alfa Nero and has merely used the vessel from time to time under commercial charter since 2014,” his legal representative wrote in response to questions from Bloomberg.
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The director of the port of Antigua, Darwin Telemaque, said on Tuesday that If no one proves ownership of the Alfa Nero before March 31, he will be forced to auction it.
For “more than a year”, the marina has been paying the high fuel, electricity and food bills of the five crew members. The Prime Minister’s office considers the Alfa Nero an abandoned ship and claims that has amassed a bank account of more than $500,000.
Now the concern is that the ship will become abandoned and clog traffic in Antigua’s busiest port, Telemaque said.
“Our yachting industry is our biggest source of maritime revenue, bigger even than the cruise business,” he said in a phone interview. “And we have to take all possible measures to protect it and not allow the ship to become a burden on our country.”
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Guryev, whose net worth is $10.1 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he is the founder and largest shareholder of PhosAgro, one of the largest fertilizer companies in Europe.
She has been sanctioned by the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union for her ties to the Kremlin amid the Russia-Ukraine war. In response to a US request, Antiguan authorities searched the vessel last year, an operation that was observed by the FBI.
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