“A classic case of the Gaston Browne Administration putting the cart before the horse.”
That is how attorney-at-law Charlesworth Tabor has responded to the recent revelation that the Government cannot sell the Alfa Nero mega yacht it has just acquired.
It was only on Tuesday, April 11, that the Browne Administration officially took ownership of the 267-foot mega yacht, after Port Manager Darwin Telemaque delivered the notice of seizure and possession to its crew.
Telemaque then outlined the steps that the Government would be taking to reach the point of auctioning the vessel. These include dealing with the crew’s outstanding matters; ensuring maintenance and security; and flagging the vessel to clear the way for the sale.
But, as Tabor explains, the Administration has been rushing full steam ahead without the benefit of – or heeding – proper advice.
He says the yacht cannot be sold until the United States government has removed the sanction it placed on the assets of a number of Russian oligarchs – including the yacht’s previous owner, Andrey Guryev –, because the sanction prohibits any auction or direct sale of the vessel.
Since the Government cannot sell the yacht at this point, it becomes responsible for its maintenance and for payment of the crew until the sanction is lifted and a subsequent sale can take place.
Residents reacted with shock and anger to the news, apparently broken by Super Yacht News today. They complained bitterly to REAL News that the Browne Administration is already not able to meet its financial commitments – including to teachers and Solid Waste contractors – and therefore has no business taking on the responsibilities associated with owning the vessel.
They also accused the Government of having “made a decision motivated by greed” and “rushing in blindly” in its acquisition of the luxury yacht.
The vessel has been docked at the Falmouth Harbour Marina since February 2022 and was recently declared a safety hazard and environmental threat by the Administration.
The United Progressive Party has opposed the Government’s plans regarding the Alfa Nero throughout the public discourse on the matter, as well as in Parliament when the Port Authority Act was amended to facilitate the seizure and sale of the vessel.