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65m Galactica Star on sealed bid sale after Nigerian corruption case

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Alina Andriyanova
April 19, 2019

Heesen' second largest yacht Galactica Star is being offered for sale in a sealed bid arrangement starting on April 4, 2019 with the close of bidding on May 19th, according to Yacht Harbour. The sale process was proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and approved by U.S. federal court, as a part of ongoing corruption case against two Nigerian nationals, according to The Marine News.

The sale follows 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 superyacht was allegedly bought 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 US and Nigerian governments received Federal Court approval to sell the superyacht last month in Texas. According to Law360, a legal news source, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison approved it due to high maintenance and dockage fees, estimating the combined cost at around $170,000 per month.

The sealed bid will be managed by Fraser, with the MRP set at $42,000,000. Following the close of bidding, the winning bidder will have five days to deposit five percent of the accepted total into an escrow account.

Custom motor yacht Galactica Star was built by Heesen in Netherlands at their Oss shipyard and delivered to her owner in 2013. She features exterior styling by Omega Architects, and engineering by Van Oossanen & Associates. Meanwhile, the yacht's interior has been designed by Bannenberg & Rowell.

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

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