In a move that will undoubtedly anger the Russian president, the Italian police have seized an asset believed to be one of Vladimir Putin’s most valuable assets.
Vladimir Putin will not go on vacation on his alleged $ 989 million superyacht anytime soon with the Italian government seizing the asset as part of an investigation earlier this week.
After spending two consecutive years under inspection and repair in the Marina di Carrara on the northern coast of Tuscany, the megayacht Scheherazade – said to belong to Putin – was put back into the water on Tuesday (local time).
Its owner, who is said to have ties to the Russian president, was reported to have intended to use it to escape European waters to evade sanctions imposed. Russia.
However, on Friday, the Italian police boarded the 459-foot ship – which is equipped with six decks, two helipads, a judo gym, a five-meter aquarium, a swimming pool that converts into a dance floor, bathrooms. decorated with gold and a self-service – sounding the piano – and informed the crew that the ship would not sail.
In a statement on Friday, Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance said Economy Minister Daniele Franco signed an order preventing the ship from leaving port.
The ministry said its investigation, which has been ongoing since March amid claims that the ship is owned Vladimir Putin – highlighted that the ship had “significant economic and commercial ties” with “leading elements of the Russian government and with others subject to EU sanctions”.
the New York Times reported that US officials have appointed Russian president Vladimir Putin as one of the “highlights”.
He added that the owner of the superyacht was a person who “threatened international peace and security” and whose actions undermined or threatened “the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”.
In the statement, the ministry did not disclose the superyacht owner’s name, as the European Council had to do so first.
However, he asked the European Council to add the owner’s name to the sanctions list.
The Italian government – which has a history of vigorous seizure of assets belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarchs – has confiscated the Scheherazade under EU sanctions imposed for The Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It has been reported in the Italian media in recent weeks that Scheherazade is actually owned by former head of Russian oil company Rosneft, Eduard Khudainatov, who is currently not subject to sanctions. The Russian oil tycoon would be related to Igor Sechin, who is a close friend of the Russian President and currently sanctioned.
A report of the New York Times revealed that the captain of the Marina di Carrara shipyard – where the superyacht has been in dry dock since late 2020 – has denied claims that the yacht is owned or used by the Russian president.
Originally published as Vladimir Putin’s lavish 989 million dollar megayacht seized by the Italian government