The government has confirmed that several persons have been showing interest in buying the Alfa Nero, a superyacht owned by Russian billionaire businessman Andrey Guryev.
“We have lots of people showing an interest and we have asked them to submit their bids to the attorney general and they may wish to copy the prime minister if they so wish,” said the Chief of Staff in the Prime Ministers’ Office Lionel Max Hurst
The vessel will be sold by auction and the government is seeking legal advice as it moves ahead with intentions
Hurst said the Antigua Port Authority Act already exists, which allows the vessel to be sold but “what we want to do is make it clear so that there nitpicking which people who are lawyers would engage in. So, the laws exist, but we are just making it clearer”, he added.
There are five crew members still on board the Alfa Nero and Hurst said in the event there is a sale, the government would have to pay the 45 persons who were onboard the vessel.
The superyacht has according to reports received more than 500,000.00 dollars worth of fuel.
A ten-day notice is expected to appear in the local press and newspapers outside of the jurisdiction.
The government has said that the Alfa Nero “poses a threat to other vessels and to the harbor where it is moored”
But the vessel seems to have been abandoned, according to Information Minister Melford Nicholas.
In August last year, the vessel was searched by local authorities after a request from the US to search it, seize relevant material, and question its crew.
Reports are that both the vessel and its owner are on sanctions lists issued by the US, the UK, and the European Union (EU).