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Russian oligarch’s $300 million yacht found hidden in a creek

June 2, 2022, 2:33 PM UTC

Andrey Melnichenko lost his first yacht to sanctions in March. Now authorities say they’ve found another. But impounding this one could be a lot more difficult.

The 367-foot, $300 million Motor Yacht A has been discovered tucked away in a creek in Ras al-Khaimah, located in the northern part of the United Arab Emirates. The ship is flying the Emirates flag, however, and that’s the problem.

The Financial Times was the first to report the yacht’s position.

The UAE has remained neutral during Russia’s war on Ukraine and has not issued any sanctions on Russia or Russian citizens, like Western countries. As a result, some oligarchs are putting their assets in the country to avoid seizure.

Dubai has emphasized the importance of Russia as an OPEC+ partner in recent months. And the UAE has seen an influx of Russian money, with wealthy citizens (including non-sanctioned ones) relocating to the country. Real estate sales in Dubai to Russian billionaires have surged since the invasion.

Melnichenko’s other yacht, a $600 million vessel called Sailing Yacht A, was seized by Italian authorities earlier this year. Melnichenko has denied being close to Putin, despite attending a meeting with the Russian president the day of the invasion.

Authorities have had a good deal of luck seizing superyachts from oligarchs since the invasion. The U.S. captured a $120 million vessel in April, with Germany taking over a $325 million megayacht in May.

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