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Antigua took possession of abandoned Russian superyacht
Antigua’s government officially took possession ofthe 'Alfa Neo' that was left stranded in its main harbor, apparently abandoned by its owner. They were anxious to dispose of the 267-foot Alfa Nero as it is costing taxpayers millions of dollars to maintain its onboard crew as well as the vessel while being a hambug to the marina where it has been tied up since Russia invaded the Ukraine. Other boat owners were upset that the vessel has a malfunctioning sewage system, meaning that the crew rather than properly disposing of waste simply dumps it overboard. The Port Authority Manager Darwin Telemaque on April 11 handed over official documents of seizure and possession to the crew after meeting with the stranded men and their attorneys. Before making the move to officially seize the vessels and prepare it for international auction, the parliament had to amend local legislation allowing for such and to cover other legal loopholes in this unprecedented case. The money from the sale will be used for national development. Officials said they already have offers for up to $80 million but this figure could change when it is formally put on the auction market. The government has a few more steps to take before all issues are dealt with, resolving the issue of the crew which is the primary responsibility under international maritime law. When that is done, local crews will engage in the process of maintaining and sustaining the ship. Other topics will be to engage with security personnel and the flagging of the ship. The final component is to discuss the issue of liability insurance.
Official notice issued to sell Russian tycoon yacht
The sale of the 'Alfa Nero' of the Russian fertiliser tycoon Andrey Guryev, known as a close associate of Vladimir Putin and being under sanctions from a number of countries including the US, UK and Canada, has moved a step closer with the government issuing an official notice of intention to do so. The notice signed by Port Manager Darwin Telemaque and sent to local media for publication declares the vessel to be “abandoned”, after it has been languishing in Falmouth Harbour for over a year with government claiming it posed both an environmental and a security risk. The notice dated March 21 is addressed to an entity by the name of Flying Dutchman Overseas Ltd. in Tortola, BVI. It is also copied to Guernsey-based wealth management firm Opus Private, along with Guryev himself in Lobnya, on the outskirts of Russia’s capital Moscow. It lists a number of reasons for wanting the ship moved, citing that it is uninsured, likely to become unseaworthy, and is a threat to the safety and security of people and other vessels using the harbour. The notice also points out that the yacht has outstanding moorage fees and dockage charges, has not been maintained by an owner or agent for the owner, and also that ownership has been unclaimed for more than 90 days. It references a recent amendment to the Port Authority Act – passed by both Houses of Parliament – which sought to bolster the country’s legal standing in the event of a sale. “Should you fail to take all necessary steps to remove the Alfa Nero, I shall sell the said Alfa Nero pursuant to section three of the Port Authority (Amendment) Act 2023 without further notice,” Telemaque’s notice adds. No deadline is stated for how long Guryev has to come forward but the legislation affords a 10-day timeframe.The government previously declared its intention to keep the proceeds of the sale, after paying off debts accrued during the vessel’s time in Antigua. Those also include crew wages and $500,000 in fuel to keep the boat running, owed to the Antigua Yacht Club Marina. A number of people have already expressed an interest in buying the yacht, offering bids in the range of US$48-50 million.
Abandoned Russian oligarch yacht poses threats to Falmouth Harbour
Antigua and Barbuda could face reputational damage, among other issues, if it doesn’t work quickly to remove the 'Alfa Nero', owned by sanctions-hit oligarch Andrey Guryev and is set to be auctioned by the state, from Falmouth Harbour. The vessel has been abandoned since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the ship threatens to cause a major catastrophe in the harbour, which could cost the country billions of dollars and cripple the tourism sector. The vessel is uninsured and posing a risk to other ships in the vicinity. Falmouth Harbour is frequented by some of the largest and most luxurious yachts in the world. The PM went on to claim that controversy surrounding the potential sale of the ship is because opposition parties do not want the government to benefit from the proceeds. The government previously declared its intention to keep the bulk of the sale money after paying off the vessel’s debts, which include $500,000 to the Antigua Yacht Club Marina for fuel. Offers in excess of US$50 million have already been made by potential buyers, one of them a Russian. Proceeds from the sale of the 'Alfa Nero #will be placed in a consolidated fund and used to develop Antigua and Barbuda. The Chief Executive Officer of the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority Darwin Telemaque has said that the 'Alfa Nero' poses serious environmental damage to the country every day that it continues to sit in its waters and also is a hazard to navigation and a hazard for business owners in Falmouth Harbour. Report with photo: https://antiguaobserver.com/russian-superyacht-a-potential-security-risk-pm/Upload News