The Russian billionaire, the owner of one of the largest fertilizer producers in the world, Phosagro, disowned the luxury 82-meter Alfa Nero yacht, which is currently moored and arrested in the port of the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean. Andrey Guryev's lawyers, in response to an inquiry from Bloomberg, informed that the Russian businessman neither directly nor indirectly owns the vessel.
“As we informed the Antigua authorities, Mr. Guryev does not own or control Alfa Nero, but has simply used the vessel for commercial purposes from time to time since 2014,” Guryev’s lawyers said.
The said message was sent by the lawyers to the authorities of Antigua and Barbuda, who warned that if the real owner of the yacht does not appear before March 31, then the vessel designed for 12 people with a hidden pool and a helipad will be sold at auction. Antigua port manager Darwin Telemak admitted that the authorities have no other choice, since for a year now they have been forced to cover the costs of electricity, fuel and food for the crew of the arrested ship at their own expense.
The authorities estimate the total cost of maintaining the yacht at about $500,000. Moreover, it takes up too much space in the port of Antigua, which is considered one of the most important sources of income for the state, and interferes with the free circulation of other ships. The cost of the yacht, which the Russian billionaire sailed on, is estimated at about $200 million, although it was later re-registered with a market value of $81 million.
“Our yachting industry is our largest marine source of income, even more than the cruise business. We must do everything possible to protect the industry and not let the ship become a burden,” Telemak said.
Andrey Guryev came under Western sanctions (UK, US and EU) for being close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian establishment. The businessman’s fortune is estimated at $ 10 billion, while he is one of the few who, by the end of 2022, was able to make money on the crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The war exacerbated the food crisis and drove up the prices of Guryev's main commodity, fertilizer.