Amid sanctions against Russia and Russian citizens over Ukraine’s invasion, luxury yachts owned by the country’s billionaires are being confiscated and confiscated across Europe.
French officials said they have seized the 280-foot (85-metre) yacht Amore Vero, which belongs to a company owned by Russian Igor Sechin, the chief executive and chairman of Rosneft, an oil producer in Russia.
Sechin is an ally of the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, and is among those who have faced EU sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amore Vero was seized overnight at a shipyard in La Ciotat on the Mediterranean coast of France.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire wrote on Twitter: “I thank French customs for enforcing EU sanctions against people close to the leaders of Russia.” “The boat was being prepared for immediate departure.”
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Forbes magazine also reported that the yacht Dilbar, which is 512 feet (156 m) and one of the largest in the world (see photo at the beginning of this report)Was confiscated in Hamburg, Germany.
The vessel belongs to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, one of the targets of European sanctions, but a representative of Usmanov denied this, citing a statement from the Hamburg State Ministry of Economy and Innovation that the yacht was confiscated. Was.
In the statement, the German state ministry said that the country’s federal customs agency is the “authority responsible for enforcement”, that it must issue an export exemption for a yacht to leave the port and that “no yacht leaves the port if it is necessary to do so”. is therefore authorized”.
A spokesman for the Hamburg Economic Authority told the British newspaper The Guardian: “No boats were seized.” “Distribution [do iate ao seu proprietário] also not planned. No boat will leave the port if it is not allowed to do so.”
According to Forbes, Alisher Usmanov is the 99th richest billionaire in the world, and has an estimated net worth of US$14.2 billion (about $70 billion at current prices).
The magazine says that much of Usmanov’s fortune is tied to iron ore and steel giant Metalloinvest, which was an early investor in Facebook, holds a stake in Xiaomi and in 2018 owns 30% stake in Arsenal Football Club for about US$700 million sold.
At least five other superyachts owned by Russian billionaires are anchoring or sailing in the Maldives, a nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean, according to Reuters news agency.