Russian billionaire Andrey Guryev’s seized $120 million superyacht Alfa Nero is currently embroiled in a lot of legal back and forth. The gorgeous 279 feet long vessel has been aimlessly led for over a year with no clear destination in sight. First, the owners turned off the location transponders on the ship in early March 2022. The authorities were clueless about the whereabouts of the modern floating palace.
By August 2022, the FBI, along with the Antigua and Barbuda government, traced the location and raided the superyacht of oligarch Guryev. The abandoned megayacht was finally put on sale by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda on the pretext that it is a wonderful asset wasting away (also bleeding them dry). The Government clarified this move was only to deter further damage to the luxurious $120 million vessel.
Selling the superyacht Alfa Nero wasn’t a simple task with a ‘for sale sign.’ In fact, the move caused a lot of drama and disruption to the parliamentary proceedings of Antigua. On the one hand, the authorities were fed up with the 279ft long vessel raking up bills, and on the other opposition were left flabbergasted over the hasty decisions to approve its sale and collect dues. The House of Representatives didn’t bat an eyelid before approving several amendments to the Antigua Port Authority Act, which was mandatory for selling the Alfa Nero superyacht.
The new twist to the twisted tale-
The latest development will see Alfa Nero go nowhere, not to a new destination or owner, and definitely not for sale. Despite amendments to the Port Authority Act, officials might not be able to sell the Alfa Nero. A man, Alexander Mavrodi of Moscow, Russia, has claimed ownership of the luxury vessel. Attorney Leon Chaku Symister stated, ‘In spite of amendments to the Port Authority Act, the Browne Administration might not be able to sell the Alfa Nero – the yacht registered to a Russian oligarch – if a challenge is made for ownership.’ Surprisingly, the yacht has been docked in Falmouth waters since February 2022, and right before its auction, a new owner surfaces.
Mavrodi expressed he was surprised by some of the Government’s claims about the state of the vessel and its crew (the ship was raided and thoroughly frisked by officials of two countries and is being maintained with a skeleton crew that went from 40 to 5). His ownership claim was followed by a desire to reinstitute proper insurance and take care of its staff. This sudden interest expressed by the third party would impede the Government’s move to auction Alfa Nero.
It seems like the new Russian owner, who was probably hibernating this past year, will recreate the Amadea yacht episode yet again. Plans to auction the $120 million superyacht to the highest bidder will have to wait till the drama unfolds.