U.S. Scores One Against Russia


The Supreme Court in Fiji has ruled that the United States could seize a Russian-owned superyacht in the nation’s waters.

Why is the yacht being seized?
According to Chief Justice Kamal Kumar, the $325m yacht, Amadea, sailed into Fiji waters “without any permit and most probably to evade prosecution by the United States of America”. The ruling was also based on arguments that keeping the superyacht berthed in Fiji at Lautoka harbor was costing the Fijian government dearly.

Did Russia accept the ruling?
Russia’s acceptance or non-acceptance of the ruling does not appear to be relevant at this point, as Kumar ruled that based on the evidence, the chances that the supreme court would hear any appeal by the defense lawyers were “nil to very slim.” The United States has since taken over the vessel and sailed it away.

Court documents showed that the Amadea switched off its transponder soon after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as it sailed from the Caribbean through the Panama Canal to Mexico, before sailing thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean to Fiji, where it was seized.

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