All bids have been closed on the Alfa Nero, paving the way for its auction on Friday.
General Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority Darwin Telemaque said only the bids cleared by the government of Antigua and Barbuda will be recognized.
“We executed the due diligence process in conjunction with the US government and OFAC, who have cleared the individuals that we are now permitting to participate in the auction. So, we’re grateful for the support that we received from the US in that respect”
This means, according to Telemaque that only individuals who would have previously submitted their bids and had submitted the beneficial owner’s name, address, and the source of funds for due diligence will be accommodated
“One of the things that the US wanted to ensure that was done, was removing the sanctions and making it possible for us to auction the vessel so that we can remove it from where it is. They wanted to be sure that we were not going to have individuals bidding on the vessel who were either tied to sanctions, individual or sanctioned individuals themselves, or individuals of nefarious character,” he explained
Meanwhile, Telemaque explained that the bidding process, which will take place at the Treasury, will involve a member of the private sector, a member of the Judiciary, and a member of the clergy.
“These three individuals will be at the Treasury Department. They will participate in the transfer of the bids from the vault where they would have been received by the accountant general and stamped and sealed having received them Sealed”.
He said a receipt should be given to the person or the people who are presenting the bids.
“And all bids will be then placed in a vault. The Point is, see, that it will be locked and accessed only by the accountant General. On Friday morning, those three people will accompany the accountant general along with a camera from one unlikely ABS TV, to open the safe or the vault, remove the bids and demonstrate clearly in a very transparent manner…,” he explained
The transfer from the vault to the conference room at the treasury will also be caught on camera, according to Telemaque
“It will be placed on the table. There’ll be several bids that three individuals will begin to open to see which one is the highest bid. The highest bid will then be selected to represent myself and I will announce who the winner is. At that point, that person becomes the beneficial owner of the Alfa Nero, providing that within seven days they can pay to the government of Antigua, whether it be to wire transfer or to cheque or whatever means the full amount, the full bid amount. If they fail after seven days, then the second-place bid will become the winner,” he said
Telemaque did not disclose the names of those who presented bids for the Alfa Nero, saying, that he was taking their privacy into consideration
The government seized the Superyacht recently, saying that it posed an environmental risk being moored at the Falmouth Habour Since February last year
Secondly, the government argued that removing the vessel there would eliminate
the navigational risk that the ship would have posed to other vessels or the channel or the turning basin and form of the harbor.
They also claimed that if the channel’s turning basin was compromised, there would be significant hardships for the country’s economy.
The Alfa Nero could be sold for as much as $80M and the government said after it clears off all debts associated with the yacht, the balance of the proceeds will be placed in a consolidated fund
But selling the Alfa Nero hasn’t been an easy task for the government as it encountered several roadblocks during the process
On June 01, the US removed the Alfa Nero, from its sanctions list; one of the major hurdles for the government after it seized the multi-million-dollar floating island.
It was Ambassador to the United States Ronald Sanders who had been leading the effort in Washington to have the Alfa Nero removed from the List of the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) of the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
This paved the way, making the Government of Antigua and Barbuda the lawful owners, cutting all ties to the sanctioned Russian Oligarch, Anrey Yurev, and his family
Once the sanctions were removed on the 267-foot mega sea machine, this gave legal rights for the sale of the Alfa Nero