Superyacht feds say was seized from Russian oligarch sails into San Diego

A small Navy boat sprays water in its wake next to a massive yacht
A Navy boat speeds by the $300-million, 348-foot luxury yacht Amadea as it sailed into San Diego Bay on Monday. The U.S. announced the seizure of the ship in Fiji in May, saying it was owned by sanctioned oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

A $300-million superyacht the U.S. seized from an alleged Russian oligarch in Fiji last month sailed into San Diego Bay on Monday morning.

Known as the Amadea, it is 348 feet long and features a helipad and swimming pool. The Department of Justice says it was owned by Suleiman Kerimov, a gold investor Forbes says is worth $14.5 billion.

It’s not clear how long the seized boat will stay in San Diego. Justice officials said the plan is to eventually sell it off.


“The successful seizure and transport of Amadea would not have been possible without extraordinary cooperation from our foreign partners in the global effort to enforce U.S. sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine,” the Department of Justice said in a statement Monday.

The U.S. sanctioned Kerimov, who was accused of money laundering related to the purchase of French villas, in 2018. The European Union sanctioned him in March 2022, the Associated Press reported.

That same month, the Department of Justice created Task Force KleptoCapture to enforce the sanctions the U.S. and its foreign allies imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine.

A massive yacht sails with a bridge in the background
The Amadea sails south to go under the San Diego-Coronado bridge Monday as it headed to its berth.
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Two months later, on May 5, the Department of Justice announced it had seized the Amadea in Fiji. “Today’s action should make clear that there is no hiding place for the assets of individuals who violate U.S. law,” Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland said that day.

After winning a court battle in Fiji — there was a dispute over the yacht’s actual owner — the U.S. sailed the ship from the South Pacific island on June 7.


The superyacht stopped in Hawaii last week before heading into San Diego, sailing under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge on its way to its berth Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.