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$42 million superyacht Galactica Star sold after Nigerian corruption scandal

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Alina Andriyanova
July 26, 2019

The second Heesen largest superyacht, 65-metre Galactica Star, was announced sold on July 25, with Fraser representing the seller and Burgess representing the buyer. The vessel was listed for sale earlier this year asking $ 42,000,000, as a result of a notorious corruption case in Nigeria, according to Yacht Harbour.

Custom-built by Dutch yard Heesen in 2013, the vessel seconds only to the builder’s 70-metre Galactica Super Nova in terms of LOA. She features exterior styling by Omega Architects, engineering by Van Oossanen & Associates, finished by interiors from the boards of Bannenberg & Rowell. 


In April 2019, the vessel was offered for sale in a sealed bid arrangement, proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and approved by U.S. federal court. The sale process roots back to corruption case against two Nigerian nationals.

Allegedly, the superyacht was originally owned by Nigerian oil magnate Kolawole Aluko, who is one of four defendants accused of cheating Nigeria out of almost $1.8 billion in siphoned crude oil sales, reports The Marine News. The U.S. government also accused Aluko and another oil executive, Olajide Omokore, of laundering money in the United States and using it to acquire the yacht, among other assets.


The sale followed a court-ordered seizure of the yacht's owner's assets due to possible connections to an ongoing Nigerian oil corruption scandal, triggered by the Panama Papers investigation. The latter refers to 11.5 million leaked encrypted confidential documents that were the property of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, exposing the network of more than 214,000 tax havens.

Thus, the US and Nigerian governments received Federal Court approval to sell the arrested superyacht due to high maintenance and dockage fees, estimating the combined cost at around $170,000 per month. Managed by Fraser, the vessel was listed at $42,000,000.


Galactica Star accommodates up to 12 guests overnight in 6 cabins, comprising a master suite, 1 VIP stateroom, and 4 double cabins. She is also capable of carrying up to 13 crew onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience. 

The most alluring feature about the vessel is what goes on below the waterline. Van Ossaanen Naval Architects successfully created a yacht that cruises 30% more efficiently than a conventional round-bilged motor yacht in this size range. 


Powered by 2 MTU 5,592 HP diesel engines and propelled by twin screw propellers, Galactica Star is capable of a top speed of 27 knots, and comfortably cruises at 24 knots. With her 90,000 fuel tanks she has a maximum range of 4,200 nautical miles at 14 knots. Her water tanks store around 30,000 litres of fresh water. 

The yacht used to be popular for charter among celebrities, for instance, once rented by American music industry power couple, Jay Z and Beyonce for a holiday cruise, according to WithinNigeria.


In the meantime, acting as the seller's representative Fraser, one of the world’s leading brokerage companies, has been recently announced acquired from the Italian AzimutBenetti Group by US broker MarineMax.

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