Since the beginning of 2022, the mega yacht “Alfa Nero” has been a permanent guest in the bay of Falmouth Harbor near Antigua. The government has had enough – the ship should go on sale in a few days. Unless their owner becomes active.
The outbreak of war in Ukraine continues to have far-reaching effects on the holdings of Russian oligarchs and billionaires. Rarely has there been so much movement and public interest in the secretive and exclusive world of the super-rich. The sanctions imposed on many Russian individuals and families in the wake of the invasion are often severe. And even if the villas, cars and mega-yachts are mostly hidden behind a mountain of letterbox companies – the long arm of many Western governments is getting hold of more and more objects.
The most recent example: The mega yacht “Alfa Nero” (IMO 1009376) owned by Putin buddy and oligarch Andrei Gurjew in Falmouth Harbour, a bay on the extreme south coast of the island of Antigua in Antigua and Barbuda.
Oligarch has apparently left the “Alfa Nero” behind
According to a report in the local medium “Loop Caribbean News”, the 82-meter ship with a total value of around 120 million US dollars could soon change hands. In the eyes of the Caribbean island government, the ship is effectively “abandoned” and no longer maintained. As a result, the “Alfa Nero” is gradually becoming a “danger to shipping and the port,” it says. In consultation with the US government, they now want to initiate a sale (that’s how much oligarch ships could be a burden on taxpayers).
In such a case, the law stipulates that the local authorities must take far-reaching measures to draw the current owner’s attention to newspaper advertisements and media reports for ten days that he must take care of his ship as soon as possible. If nothing happens after that, ownership of the ship will pass to the government, which can and will then sell it. Minister Melford Nicholas told Loop Caribbean News that while proceeds from a sale belong to the Antiguan government, the US could apply for access to the funds.
The “Alfa Nero” was completed in 2007 and, at 82 meters, is one of the largest private mega yachts in the world. Since the outbreak of war, the ship has made headlines several times. In August 2022, local government officials, as well as FBI and Interpol agents, boarded the ship, apparently to search for documents that would positively identify Andrei Guryev as the owner. According to “Esysman Superyachts”, the bills are apparently piling up, because neither the rest of the crew nor the fuel consumed has been paid so far. The “Alfa Nero” last moved in September 2022, when the ship steered along the coast into a western bay for a short time, probably to avoid a storm. How the short trip was financed is unclear.
If the current owner still wants to save his ship before it is sold, this is likely to be associated with greater difficulties. Because the owner, the Russian oligarch Andrei Gurjew, is said to have close ties to Vladimir Putin. That’s why sanctions were imposed on him in May last year. This also means that service providers and businesses in Antigua and Barbuda are discouraged from doing business with him.
Second Guryev yacht went sour in the harbor basin
Andrei Guryev is the former head of Phosagro, one of the four largest producers of phosphate-based fertilizers in the world. According to the New Yorker, the oligarch made his money after the collapse of the Soviet Union by buying state property, including mines, at low prices.
The US Treasury Department writes about the Russian: “Guryev is a known close confidant of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and previously served in the government of the Russian Federation; in 2001 he was appointed to the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation , where he served until 2013.”
If the “Alfa Nero” went under the hammer, it would probably not be the only yacht that Guryev has to leave behind. Shortly before the outbreak of war he is said to have bought the 108 meter yacht “Luminosity” (IMO 9754032). The ship is said to be worth US$275 million and sailed exactly once – from Livorno, Italy to Tivat, Montenegro. She arrived there on March 10, 2022 and has not been moved since.
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