Oligarch’s Daughter Disrupts Auction of Seized Russian Yacht



Maritime Executive – When the government of Antigua seized the ultra-luxury superyacht Alfa Nero last year, local officials may not have realized how difficult it would be to get rid of.

The vessel’s upkeep is costing Antigua nearly $30,000 per week, and is creating an insurance risk and tying up marina space that would otherwise be used for revenue – generating purposes.

It has been auctioned off – but a legal dispute has prevented Antigua from completing the deal and transferring the vessel to a new owner.

Alfa Nero has been linked to the secretive Russian billionaire Andrey Guryev, who was sanctioned by the U.S. government in early 2022.

When Alfa Nero appeared in Falmouth Harbor last year, the FBI arranged with local authorities to raid it and question the crew for evidence of its ownership.

Guryev denied that he owns the vessel, so Antigua seized it as abandoned property and took legislative steps to auction it off.

In June, the U.S. Department of the Treasury lifted sanctions on the vessel to clear the way for a sale. An auction was held on June 16, and the highest bidder was former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The winning bid came in just shy of $68 million, far less than the estimated value.

There is a wrinkle, however. Guryev’s daughter, Yulia Guryeva-Motlokhov, has filed a suit claiming that she is the vessel’s true owner and that the yacht’s seizure and sale violated procedure. (Unlike Guryev, Guryeva-Motlokhov is not sanctioned by the United States or the EU.) The ongoing lawsuit means that Antigua can’t issue a free title to Schmidt, the high bidder; without a free title, Schmidt has declined to pay, Information Minister Melford Nicholas told the Antigua Observer on Friday.

According to Nicholas, the legal dispute may force Antigua to turn to the next-highest bidder. This unnamed party submitted a runner-up bid of $66 million, which is above Antigua’s reserve price of $60 million.

As for Port of Falmouth’s CEO, he is primarily interested in seeing the last of Alfa Nero.

“I just want to see it gone,” Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority CEO Darwin Telemaque told the London Times in June. “This whole . . . thing has been like a Tom Clancy novel. And I’m stuck in the middle.”





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  1. Telequack, I want to see YOU gone. Let’s give a native born Antiguan and Barbudan the job that you obviously are too incompetent to handle. You are not a qualified auctioneer, yet you went along with the theft of the Alpha Nero like the puppet you are,bringing Antigua into embarrassment.
    My only regret is that tax payers will bear the penalty for you and this dunce government’s incompetence.

  2. Huh
    What exactly is going on here?
    What has the government gotten us into now?
    Whose to blame for this fiasco?
    And why are the players keeping silent?
    In other words antigua always Inna something..
    I wonder who’s at fault here?🤔

  3. China and Russia are allies. China has invested in Antigua. You cannot be in two opposing camps. Is PM Brown in agreement with the sanctions brought about with the invasion of the Ukraine OR is he looking after his interests with China and Nigeria? Is this personal greed or are his decisions for Antigua and her people? We need to educate ourselves to understand I do not have a clue but there are questions to be answered.

  4. I’m sorry but we need to have an inquiry into how much of the tax payer’s monies have been spent on this fiasco! This is gross incompetence and we need answers! There are soooo many things that need fixing in Antigua and instead the government is bleeding our funds on this fiasco! Gaston, just admit you got scammed!!!

  5. No Antiguans can do the work of that port manager foh…this man just follows orders from the PM without using his own brain

  6. Why are people on here acting surprised over this failed venture or news by Gatson and his band of jokers calling themselves ministers?

    I just have to 😂😂🤣. Do anyone has the ANR news archive and the comments going back 2yrs?
    If you do, post them here so people can see that free thinking Antiguans like myself warned and warned this Dumb/messy administration to to stay away from this boat sale and also the Nigerians with their history of scamming, so I don’t know why some of you on here acting surprised, well I’m not.

    I just have to shake my head with this Damn messy long-eyed administration.

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