Italy just seized 2 superyachts of oligarchs close to Putin, bringing the number to 3. Here’s what could be next
Superyachts belonging to three of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest associates were detained in Europe in the past week, part of Western government sanctions against hundreds of Russian financial targets.
The Amore Vero, a $116 million yacht owned by Igor Sechin, head of Russian oil company Rosneft, was seized in France, the Financial Times reported. Forbes published an article Wednesday saying that the world’s largest superyacht, the $600 million Dilbar, owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, was seized in Germany, but later retracted that reporting, citing an update from Hamburg’s Ministry for Economy and Innovation.
Meanwhile, Italian police seized the “Lady M,” owned by Alexei Mordashov, one of the richest man in Russia, on Friday, according to a tweet from Ferdinando Giugliano, media adviser to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Italian tax police also froze “Lena,” a yacht owned by Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko, Giugliano added.
The clampdown on Russia’s oligarchs began on Feb. 25, when the U.S. government sanctioned five elite Russian families by barring them from accessing any property or engaging in any transactions in the U.S.
The U.K. followed suit, freezing the assets of 100 individuals the following day and capping the amount Russians can deposit into U.K. bank accounts. The EU, meanwhile, put 26 Russians on its sanctions list on Monday. The sanctioned billionaires will have their assets frozen, and they won’t be allowed to enter or transit through the EU.
Chief among these assets, of course, are the megayachts beloved by many of the billionaires close to Putin. As more sanctions are prepared for the coming days, more yachts may be confiscated.
Here are six Russian billionaires and their big boats—some of which might be targets of future seizures.
Igor Sechin’s ‘Amore Vero’
Amore Vero, the yacht of Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian oil company Rosneft, was seized by French authorities on Wednesday as it was preparing to leave, the Wall Street Journal reports. European Union sanction documents call Sechin, the former deputy prime minister of Russia, one of Putin’s “most trusted and closest advisers, as well as his personal friend,” according to CNBC. The vessel, formerly known as the St. Princess Olga, is 280 feet long, with four decks and seven cabins, according to Autoevolution. Sechin was sanctioned by the U.S. and European Union in late February.
Alisher Usmanov’s ‘Dilbar’
The yacht of Alisher Usmanov—the world’s 94th richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index—was seized by German authorities on Wednesday in Hamburg, according to Forbes, which later retracted that reporting. Usmanov owns nearly half of USM Holding company, a Russian-based investment group under which ore-producer Metalloinvest and telecommunications giant MegaFon operate. He became head of the International Fencing Federation in 2008 and controls Russian newspaper Kommersant, according to Bloomberg. He also owns the Dilbar, a 500-foot superyacht with a 25-meter swimming pool. The boat, reportedly named after his mother, is worth nearly $600 million, according to Reuters. The U.S. and U.K. sanctioned him this week.
Roman Abramovich’s ‘My Solaris’
Roman Abramovich—Russian billionaire, owner of Chelsea Football Club and Putin supporter—also owns the more than 450-foot My Solaris, worth $600 million, according to superyachtfan.com. Abramovich owns another superyacht, dubbed the Eclipse, worth $700 million, according to the site. He has not yet been sanctioned in the U.S. or U.K.
Vladimir Potanin’s ‘Nirvana’
Vladimir Potanin, among the richest men in Russia, owns the Nirvana, a megayacht that can accommodate 12 guests and boasts a crew of 18, according to superyachtfan.com. He also owns Barbara, another megayacht. Potanin—No. 55 on Forbes’ Billionaires 2021 list—owns more than a third of Norilsk Nickel, a mining company, as well as stakes in a pharmaceutical company and a ski resort. On Wednesday he resigned as a trustee of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, according to the museum. Its statement didn’t give a reason for his departure but said that “the Guggenheim strongly condemns the Russian invasion and unprovoked war against the government and people of Ukraine,” the Washington Post reported. Nirvana was seen in Maldives waters on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The country doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S.
Viktor Rashnikov’s ‘Ocean Victory’
Russian iron and steel magnate Viktor Rashnikov owns the $300 million “Ocean Victory,” featuring six pools, an underwater observation room, an internal helicopter hangar, and a helideck, according to superyachtfan.com. With a net worth of nearly $10 billion, Rashnikov — who began as a mechanic at Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, the company he is now majority owner of — is No. 195 on Forbes’ 2021 billionaires list.
Oleg Deripaska’s ‘Clio’
Oleg Deripaska, who founded the Russian aluminum group Rusal, owns “Clio,” a $65 million superyacht, with a crew of 21. It’s supported by a boat dubbed “Sputnik,” with a crew of 26, according to superyachtfan.com. Sanctions against three of Depripaska’s companies were lifted by former U.S. President Donald Trump. Deripaska has called for an end to the war in Ukraine, joining a handful of oligarchs who have dared to speak out against the invasion. The oligarch is worth nearly $3 billion, according to Forbes. As of Thursday, his ship was docked in Maldives, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S., Reuters reported. Deripaska was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2018.
Fortune reporter Tristan Bove contributed to this report.
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