Maritime union Nautilus has confirmed that near $1 million in overdue salaries were paid to the crew of Indian Empress. The superyacht is now known as Neom. This follows the 95-meter yacht being abandoned in Malta in 2017 and recently sold at an auction for €35 million.
The yacht’s previous owner, Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya, left the yacht in Malta in September 2017 amidst controversy over his Kingfisher Airlines and debts of over $1 billion. Known for his former Formula One team, Force India, as well as his United Spirits alcohol distributor in India, which he sold in 2014, Mallya was also active in Indian politics until 2016.
After crew members of Mallya’s Indian Empress, as well as several other creditors, the largest of which was Melita Power Diesel with an outstanding payment of over €650,000, demanded the yacht be sold to cover expenses, it was put up for auction in Malta. After several failed attempts, the yacht was sold for €35 million and renamed Neom.