Alfa Nero could be sold in weeks as delisting talks continue

Editorial Staff

May 10, 2023

The Alfa Nero moments after it was siezed by Antigua and Barbuda (Photo by Wayne Mariette)

Sir Ronald Sanders, the man leading talks with the United States to have them remove sanctions on the Alfa Nero says discussions are ongoing and diplomatic efforts have gone satisfactorily so far.

Sanders; Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States believes that the boat could be sold within weeks as the diplomatic side of discussions are over and both sides are now addressing administrative difficulties.

“Well, I think the diplomatic side of things is virtually over. We’ve got some administrative difficulties now to overcome, but they’re not insurmountable and they’re progressing. And that’s the important thing. But as far as the diplomatic work is concerned, that is getting the full cooperation of the United States government,” he told State Media

He said irrespective of reports that the boat may not be sold, Sanders said there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the ship is owned by the Port Authority

“And let me make it clear, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind right now that this ship is owned by the Port Authority of Antigua and Barbuda. That is clear. Clear in the United States, clear in Antigua, clear everywhere else. What we are doing now is trying to get the delisting to happen by the United States on the basis that all the international agencies have updated their records and show that the ownership is now vested in the Port Authority of Antigua and Barbuda,” he said

“We hope that, in a matter of days, the International Maritime Organization will have finished the processes that they have to go through and that will be the end of that matter.

He also claimed that there were “two entities” which laid claim to the vessel, however, they have provided no information and could not prove with the beneficial owner is.

Where the tentative timeline for the sale of the Alfa Nero is concerned, Sanders said “this is happening now at several levels. It was happening at the level of the United States. It’s happening at the level of the international organizations concerned with shipping. These things take some time, but I do not expect it to be an extraordinary amount of time. I think within a matter of weeks, probably less than a month or so, we should see this,” he said

He said he has also been able to garner the support of high-level US officials in the efforts to have the vessel removed from the sanctions list.

“We had people at the very high levels of the United States government who were being helpful to our process, recognizing the legitimacy of what we were doing and the justification for it. And I have to say that the United States embassy based in Barbados and the ambassador in particular, were also extremely helpful in promoting Antigua’s cause in this regard,” he added.

The government has confirmed that more than 20 bids have been received for the acquisition of the vessel pending due diligence.

The intended sale of the former Russian Superyacht hit a snag recently when the government was informed that unless the US sanction is lifted, the vessel cannot be sold.

The Alfa Nero now has an Antiguan and Barbuda Flag, after the state seized the vessel several weeks ago. It was previously owned by a Russian billionaire.

It was delisted by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which sanctioned the vessel based on its connection to the sanctioned Russian, Andrey Guryev.

The government has made an application to have the Alfa Nero delisted, so the prospective new owner can benefit from free, legal movement, but no success has yet been achieved in those efforts.

It costs the government a whopping US28K to maintain the vessel weekly. That price does not include the cost of fuel that is currently keeping the boat moored at the Falmouth Habour

The government is hoping to receive a windfall from the sale of the superyacht. That money will be placed into a consolidated fund.


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