The government of Antigua and Barbuda has given an ultimatum to the owner of Alfa Nero, a massive 267-foot yacht.
The message is clear, either pay up and reclaim the yacht or we’re selling it and keeping the money.
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This ginormous yacht has sat moored in Falmouth Harbour for over 18 months.
The yacht has been racking up dock fees since and no one has claimed her yet.
Superyachts such as this one generally fly the flag of exotic Caribbean islands with favorable legislation regarding yacht ownership, and they’re usually owned by shell companies to conceal the identity of the true proprietor.
According to Antiguan government officials, the yacht belongs to Andrey Guryev, a 63-year-old Russian oligarch with a net worth of $9.7 billion.
However, when Bloomberg got in touch with Mr Guryev’s legal team in London with a request for comment, his lawyers said their client doesn’t actually own the yacht.
“As we have informed the Antiguan authorities Mr. Guryev neither owns nor controls the Alfa Nero and has simply used the vessel from time to time under commercial charter since 2014,” their statement reads.
Built in the Netherlands in 2007, Alfa Nero can accommodate up to 12 guests in six luxury cabins, and it also includes an infinity pool, a hair salon, and a helipad.
Despite being moored in Antigua, the yacht is actually registered in the Cayman Islands with a value of around $81 million, and it has annual running costs of around $6 million.
Like many other yachts of this size and caliber, she has been seized by authorities in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The thing is, even when the yacht is moored and stationary, it still needs refueling and maintenance, and the crew members need to get paid.
The government of Antigua has been picking up the tab for a year now, and it’s unsurprisingly running out of patience.
According to Antiguan authorities, the owner has until next week, or the yacht will be sold and proceeds will go to the government.