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Correction: Billionaire Blocked-Molokai story

December 20, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) — In a story on Nov. 28, The Associated Press, relying on information from Hawaii NewsNow, reported that billionaire Yuri Milner attempted to bring the yacht he owned into the harbor of Molokai but was turned back after some residents objected. However, Milner’s spokeswoman says Milner does not own the boat and the AP has been unable to independently verify who owned the yacht and whether Milner was present on the vessel. Therefore, the AP is withdrawing its story. A new and updated story is below.

Billionaire denies he owns yacht blocked from Molokai

HONOLULU (AP) — A spokeswoman for billionaire tech investor Yuri Milner says he did not own a yacht that was blocked from entering at a Molokai harbor in November after residents confronted those aboard.

Milner’s spokeswoman, Alice McGillion, told The Associated Press that Milner does not own the boat. When asked if Milner was on the boat at the time of the incident, McGillion declined to answer. Hawaii News Now initially reported that Milner owned the yacht, but the news website has since removed his name from their story.

According to state officials, Maui police were present when a representative from the yacht came ashore in a smaller boat and spoke with Hawaii activists. Hawaii state Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement officer Kief Apo told the AP that police were there when he arrived at the scene, but a smaller boat with the crew’s representative was already returning to the yacht.

“DOCARE did not take any enforcement action in this situation,” said agency spokeswoman Deborah Ward in a statement.

Maui police did not return calls Tuesday seeking more information about the incident.

Burgess, the yacht brokerage company that Milner’s spokeswoman said handled the sale of the yacht, could not provide any information.

The United States Coast Guard said it had no contact with the vessel when the incident occurred.

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