Many San Diegans who saw the news about the Amadea — the $325 million seized Russian oligarch's yacht that docked in San Diego on Monday — may be wondering: Who's paying for that?
Imagine how much the fuel costs to sail it more than 5,000 miles from Fiji, where it was seized earlier this month, to San Diego? A local marine fuel dock quoted the following prices, if you're wondering: $7.40 for gas, $7.35 for diesel. According to SuperYachtTimes.com, the Amadea has a 392,000-liter fuel tank. That works out to about 103,555 gallons, so it could cost $766,307 or so just to fill up.
And then there are maintence costs on a 350-foot long yacht, which, you can be sure, are extensive and necessary — in fact, not undertaking such efforts can cause the vessel's value to decline if it deteriotes due to neglect.
The Amadea carries a full complement of 36 crew, including the captain, according to SuperYachtTimes, but it won't need nearly that many once she tied up at Naval Base San Diego in National City. Nevertheless, someone will be monitoring the yacht and conducting the maintenance.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the yacht was bought with what it calls "dirty money," and, as such, some may be relieved to hear, will be sold to the highest bidder. Presumably, the associated post-seizure costs accrued after its seizure will be coming off the top of the sale price. Until then, the Amadea, which SuperYachtTimes called the 63rd larges yacht in the world, will resume in the custody of the U.S.
Officials with the DOJ said the Amadea, which was seized in connection to the department's KleptoCapture campaign undertaken in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, was owned by Suleiman Kerimov a Russian billionaire.
After the yacht arrived in San Diego, John Kirby, a former federal prosecutor, told NBC 7 that he thinks the U.S. government hopes moves like the Amadea's seizure are efforts to apply pressure to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Earlier this month, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said, regarding the Amadea, “The department had its eyes on every yacht purchased with dirty money. This yacht seizure should tell every corrupt Russian oligarch that they cannot hide — not even in the remotest part of the world. We will use every means of enforcing the sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine.”
The court ruling represented a significant victory for the U.S. as it encounters obstacles in its attempts to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs around the world. While those efforts are welcomed by many who oppose the war in Ukraine, some actions have tested the limits of American jurisdiction abroad.
The United States wasted no time in taking command of the after a Fiji court ruled in its favor and sailed the ship away from the South Pacific nation just hours after the ruling.
"If you could say or somehow prove that this boat … that the oligarch had the money for this boat because he bribed Vladimir Putin, that is public corruption," Kirby said. "It’s a crime even when it takes place outside the United States. The United States can still act upon it."
According the website, the Amadea is not currently for sale, but that may soon change. Until then, you can "shop" for other eye-popping, wallet-busting boats here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report — Ed.