By Anish Chand in Lautoka
Fiji is making a mockery of its stand in the United Nations in condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine by allowing the Russian super yacht Amadea to berth in the western port of Lautoka, says opposition People’s Alliance party leader Sitiveni Rabuka.
He called on government to send it on its way immediately.
He made the comment as police are investigating why the Amadea had entered and stopped inside Fiji’s territorial waters before a clearance from Customs was issued.
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Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho said the super yacht was being investigated for alleged breach of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
The super yacht belonging to a Russian billionaire sanctioned by the USA, United Kingdom and Europe came into port at Lautoka on Tuesday.
Public sources say the Amadea is owned by Suleiman Kerimov, a Russian oligarch who is currently sanctioned over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Marine Traffic, a marine analytics service, started showing Amadea in Fiji waters from daytime on Tuesday and by 6pm it was headed to the Lautoka Wharf.
Left Mexico last month
The Amadea left Manzanillo port in Mexico on March 24.
The 106-metre yacht risks being seized by the US, UK or any European Union country after they placed sanctions on Kerimov’s assets.
According to Fiji port requirements, any yacht arriving into Fiji must obtain approval from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade and Transport and the Immigration Department.
“We have heard about it [Amadea] but nothing has come to Immigration,” said Immigration Secretary Yogesh Karan.
Questions sent to the Ministry of Health had not been answered on publication by The Fiji Times.
Anish Chand is the Fiji Times West Bureau chief reporter. Republished with permission.