By Robert A. Emmanuel
The Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority is ensuring that all legal bases have been covered as it hopes to begin the auction of the Alfa Nero shortly.
That was according to Port Manager Darwin Telemaque who gave Observer media an update on the sale of the seized superyacht.
“We are just putting the process together- how we do it, where we do it who is going to do it and all of that- that is what we are working on.
“We are hoping that it would not be too long but there are some procedures that are required, there are some local and international notifications that have to take place to ensure that we are in compliance and that is more or less what we are trying to ensure,” he said.
Since May 23, Ambassador to the US, Sir Ronald Sanders revealed that bidders no longer needed a separate license since the license issued to the government, authorised persons to participate in an auction “subject to the terms and conditions of the license”.
Although the port manager was unable to specify when the auction process would begin, he assured that it would be held to a high standard.
“What we want to ensure that the highest standards are adhered to, there is full transparency in the process, [and] that there is international respect for what we do, taking into account that this is a global event and Antigua is under the microscope,” he said.
The Alfa Nero has been moored within the Falmouth Harbour for over a year and has cost the government US$28,000 per week, including salaries for the crew on the vessel, fuel and other maintenance costs.
The government is hoping for a windfall from the sale to cover the expenditure paid thus far and has said the funds will go towards the Consolidated Funds at the Treasury.
A previously published version of this story, on both web and digital newspaper format, erroneously claimed that Darwin Telemaque stated that sanctions were almost wrapped up. Sanctions remain fully in place and no date have been set for the auction.
We regret any misunderstanding this error may have caused.