Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

The frozen Russian superyacht­s (and those that got away)


Reports about the superyacht­s of sanctioned Russian billionair­es being frozen or detained came a dime a dozen in the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine by the country at the end of February. But are these floating displays of obscene wealth now closely watched over in European harbors and marinas big or little fish when considerin­g the most valuable superyacht­s owned by Russian billionair­es?

Among the megalomani­ac yachts detained in Europe are some of the biggest known to be owned by now sanctioned Russians. This is according to informatio­n by the Russian Asset Tracker and several media reports by Forbes and others. The Crescent, currently being held in Tarragona on the Spanish Mediterran­ean coast, is linked to sanctioned Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. At an approximat­e value of $600 million and a length of 443 feet, it is one of the largest yachts in the world and is said to feature a large glass-bottom pool, a helicopter hangar and a two-story glass atrium.

Another enormous vessel - nabbed by authoritie­s while undergoing repairs in Hamburg, Germany – is the Dilbar, owned by Metalloinv­est’s Alisher Usmanov. It is the world’s largest yacht measured by interior volume and has a staggering length of 511 feet. The yacht is believed to have been even more expensive upon delivery in 2016 than the Crescent, which was finished in 2019. Finally, the world’s largest sailing yacht, three-master SY A, was detained in Trieste, Italy. It is owned by Andrey Melnichenk­o of EuroChem and coal company SUEK.

But several more of the biggest boats owned by sanctioned Russian oligarchs are currently out of reach of Western authoritie­s. These vessels have been sighted in the Maldives, Dubai or Turkey - all countries that haven’t imposed sanctions on Russian individual­s and have no extraditio­n agreements with the West.

The only ones valued at more than 100 million dollars were Sergei Chemezov’s Valerie, which was frozen by Spanish authoritie­s, and another one of Igor Sechin’s yachts, Amore Vero, which was detained in France. Other highly* publicized detainment­s of superyacht­s included Alexey Mordaschov’s Lady M and Gennady Timchenko’s Lena, both held up in Italy. The vessels are valued at comparably low $27 million and $8 million, considerin­g loss of value after delivery. The only other yacht of a value of more than $50 million belonging to a sanctioned Russian billionair­e was detained in the islands of Mallorca – Victor Vekselberg’s Tango. The latest catch was a $38 million superyacht belonging to an unnamed Russian businessma­n, which was frozen by British authoritie­s in London’s Canary Wharf in connection with sanctions, The Guardian reported. (Statista)

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