[Source: Eric Cherry/Facebook]
The Ministry of Health will not comment further on any issues relating to the Russian yacht – Amadea berthed at the Lautoka Wharf.
In a statement, it says initial approval for yacht arrivals were based on travel partner status.
The Health Ministry says since there is no more distinction for travel partner status, the ministry’s approval for entry of yachts into Fijian waters is no longer a requirement.
According to Fijian entry requirements, yachts must seek approval from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Trade and Tourism, and the Immigration Department before departing from their last port.
The Russian superyacht that came into the country on Wednesday has since been seized by Police.
It is understood that Amadea allegedly entered our Exclusive Economic Zone without proper clearance from relevant authorities.
FBC News understands that the Fiji Police is leading the investigation and other stakeholders such as the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service border control unit are assisting.
The yacht belongs to Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov who is said to be one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies.