Prime Minister Gaston Browne has confirmed to Antigua.news that the US has lifted its sanctions on the Alfa Nero, making it possible to sell the vessel. Browne said the vessel will be sold by private treaty in about two weeks.
After remaining unclaimed for over a year, the vessel which is still moored in the Falmouth Habour was seized by the government 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 sanctioned by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) The government then 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.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US Sir Ron Sanders has been in talks with the US Treasury Department for several weeks to have the vessel delisted 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.
The government has confirmed that more than 20 bids have been received for the acquisition of the vessel pending due diligence.