Man claiming Russian identity declares himself owner of the Alfa Nero, while Senate passes Bill allowing Gov’t to sell yacht

There appears to be an ownership claim on the Alfa Nero, the super yacht reportedly owned by a Russian oligarch that the Browne Administration is attempting to have sold.

REAL News has been informed that the claim is coming from an individual who identified himself as Alexander Mavrodi of Moscow, Russia. A search for a person of this name directed our Newsroom to an Amazon publication on Russian white-collar criminals that was not available.

The vessel at the centre of the controversy has been docked in Antigua’s waters since February 2022.

In a March 17 e-mail dispatched to the United Progressive Party’s Secretariat, Mavrodi recounts the Administration’s assertions that the vessel has been unclaimed for 90 days; that the crew have not been paid and are leaving the vessel; that the debt to the captain alone is more than $700,000; and that the vessel is not insured.

Additionally, the man says he understands that liabilities attached to the vessel (including fuel costs) are at least $6 million and rising.

The unknown Mavrodi says these revelations came as a surprise to him, only days ago.  He is therefore claiming ownership of the yacht – valued at US$81 million – in order to reinstate proper insurance of the vessel and take care of the crew.

Meanwhile, on Monday, March 20, the Senate passed amendments to the Port Authority Act, giving the Government the right to seize any vessel that is facing international sanctions and has been left stranded in Antigua and Barbuda waters.

Plans to sell the vessel are already in motion by the Browne Administration, and there are unconfirmed reports that two buyers are in contention for the purchase, with half of the value having been deposited as a downpayment.

Further unconfirmed reports claim the hopeful buyers are represented by a government senator and an ambassador, respectively.

Attorney-General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has reported that a notice has been published in the local newspapers and other media outlets – and will remain for a period of 10 days – thereby satisfying the legal requirements for a forced sale. 

According to Benjamin, “If the owner fails to claim the vessel within that time period, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, having declared the vessel a hazard to shipping and to the harbour where it is moored, will sell it to the highest bidder.”

The listed owner of the luxury yacht – Andrei Guryev – is a Russian whose name appeared on sanctions lists issued by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

After the start of that war, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, in March last year, advised all local companies not to transact any business with any persons, companies, or other entities that appeared on those lists.