US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said on Wednesday that a Fabergé egg has been found on Amadea, the superyacht owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.
The $300 million yacht was seized by the US in Fiji before being sailed by an American crew to San Diego late last month.
Monaco told the Aspen Security Forum that the precious egg is itself worth millions of dollars, if proven to be the genuine article. The eggs were created by the House of Fabergé in Saint Petersburg between the late 19th century and the early 20th century, news channel CNN reports.
“Let’s get to the juicy stuff: the yachts,” she told the forum dedicated to discussing law enforcement’s role in freezing and seizing Russian assets. “We’ve been finding some really interesting things … we recovered a Fabergé – or alleged Fabergé egg – on one of these [yachts] so it just gets more and more interesting.”
“We’re working with our law enforcement counterparts around the world to conduct searches on these yachts to make sure we have the authority and can go to a court, seize them and then forfeit the proceeds,” she added
Fabergé eggs have become a byword for opulence and luxury since the young jeweller was commissioned by Tsar Alexander III of Russia in 1885 to make one as a gift for his wife, Maria. It became a Romanov tradition for the next three decades, as reported by the Guardian.
Fabergé created only 50 eggs for the imperial family and not all survived.
Monaco told the forum she supported the idea that the profits of seized assets should be forfeited, possibly to be funnelled back into Ukraine, and authority to do so had been requested from Congress.
ORIGINAL SOURCES: CNN, the Guardian
FILE PHOTO: Amadea docked in Fiji