Tango is still moored in Palma. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


The Russian-owned super yacht Tango which has been seized by the United States government in Palma could end up costing the White House a small fortune.

This week, for example, the Fiji authorities gave permission to the US Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture and the FBI to seize Amadea, a 2017 Lurssen megayacht owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, also known as the gold king. Fiji had detained the $325 million vessel on behalf of the U.S. last month, but ownership still had to be verified.

With Amadea now under U.S. control, authorities are looking to take the vessel into American waters. But they can’t do that for now, because Amadea is stuck in Fiji until an appeal on the hearing is made. Once it’s overruled, Amadea will be allowed to sail out of Fiji and into the U.S., and the U.S. government will be able to auction it off.

In the meantime, though, it has to pay for its running costs, which amount to $25 million to $30 million per year.

“As with any asset seized for federal forfeiture, the cost to seize, maintain and dispose is commensurate with the value of the underlying asset,” a Department of Justice spokesperson said. “When the United States decides to pursue an asset for forfeiture, the costs mentioned above are bore by the Government.”

And the same could happen to Tango which has been seized by the United States government but remains moored in Palma.

Depending on how the fraud case against the owner plays out and for how long, the US government might end up paying more than the ship’s worth in total running costs. The order for the Russian-owned yacht Tango to be seized and searched in Palma on came directly from the White House.

The superyacht, which has been moored in Palma since last year, belongs to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and was seized on behalf of US authorities, the first time the United States has seized property belonging to a Russian oligarch since its invasion of Ukraine in February.

The operatin in Palma marked the first of many anticipated cases expected by the Justice Department’s “KleptoCapture” task force.

Launched in March of this year, its goal is to put the finances of Russian oligarchs under strain in a bid to pressure Putin to cease his war on Ukraine.