Russian Oligarchs' Yachts Hard To Confiscate. The Case Of Usmanov's $600m Super Yacht

The yachts of Russian oligarchs targeted by sanctions due to the war in Ukraine are hard to confiscate. This is the case with a $600m superyacht belonging to billionaire Alisher Usmanov.

Three sources had told Forbes on Wednesday that the Superyacht Dilbar had been seized as its owner, Alisher Usmanov, was on a list of billionaires to face sanctions from the European Union in response to Russia’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine. But a representative of the oligarch denied the information.

He cited the statement from the Ministry in Hamburg to confirm that Dilbar was not seized. Why is so? Simple! Usmanov knew how to protect his assets so the yacht is not in his name. Dilbar, a piece of real jewelry among her keens, is registered in the Cayman Islands and owned through a holding company, making it difficult to tie it directly to Usmanov.

In its statement, the ministry in Hamburg added that restrictions can be imposed on a yacht owned by a sanctioned Russian individual only "if the ownership situation is clearly clarified and all these possessions are also sanctioned", Forbes reports.

Dilbar -  A SuperYacht. How Does It Look Like?

Usmanov’s 512-foot yacht Dilbar is valued at $600m and regarded as the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage.

When germans tried to confiscate it in order to apply EU sanctions the yacht was in the yards of shipbuilding firm Blohm+Voss. The ship has been there since late October for a refitting job.
dilbar super yacht
Yacht Dilbar, Source: Super Yacht Fan

Usmanov purchased the Dilbar yacht in 2016 for an estimated $600 million from German shipbuilder LĂĽrssen, who custom-built it for him over 52 months.

The company calls Dilbar "one of the most complex and challenging yachts ever built, both in terms of size and technology."
 
At 5,917 tons, Dilbar is the sixth-longest yacht in the world, and the third-largest yacht by volume and is usually manned by a crew of 96 people.
dilbar yacht
Yacht Dilbar, Source: Boatinternational

Dilbar boasts the largest swimming pool ever installed on a yacht, as well as two helicopter decks, a sauna, a beauty salon, and a gym. Its plush interiors have over 1,000 sofa cushions and can accommodate up to 24 people in 12 apartments.

Russian Oligarch Usmanov Has A Huge Fortune

The yacht is part of Usmanov's estimated billion-dollar fortune, which includes shares in the giant Metalloinvest and electronics company Xiaomi, as well as smaller stakes in telecommunications, mining, and media.

Usmanov has sold his 30% stake in English football team Arsenal F.C. in 2018, for nearly $ 700 million in cash, but so far this week has been linked to football through USM Holdings and the megaphone sponsorships of Everton F.C.

The Premier League team said on Wednesday it was suspending arrangements in the wake of Russia's attack on Ukraine. Usmanov is not the only Russian billionaire with a mega-yacht. Forbes and Vessels Value yacht appraisers found 32 of them.

How Do Russian Oligarchs Try To Cheat Sanctions?

At least five super-yachts owned by Russian oligarchs have been seen anchored or traveling to the Maldives, an island country in the Indian Ocean that has no extradition treaty with the United States that imposed severe sanctions against Russia and oligarchs connected to Putin, Reuters reports.

One of the five super-yachts anchored in the Maldives is Clio owned by Oleg Deripaska, one of the richest Russian oligarchs, himself sanctioned by the US since 2018.

Titan, another such vessel owned by Alexander Abramov, co-founder of steel-producing Evraz, arrived in the Maldives on February 28.

Three other yachts owned by Russian oligarchs were seen heading for the waters of the Maldives on Wednesday. Among them is Nirvana, an 88-meter vessel owned by Vladimir Potanin, the richest man in Russia.

At the beginning of the year, these ships were anchored in ports in the Middle East.

The United States has previously announced that it will take firm action to seize Russian property in accordance with the sanctions that have been imposed.

"This coming week, we will launch a multilateral transatlantic task force to identify, hunt down, and freeze the assets of sanctioned Russian companies and oligarchs: their yachts, their mansions, and any other ill-gotten gains that we can find and freeze under the law," the White House said in a tweet on Sunday.

Washington imposed sanctions on Deripaska and other influential Russians in 2018 because of their ties to President Vladimir Putin after alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election, which Moscow denies.

One Yacht Was Confiscated

While Hamburg authorities deny confiscation of Alisher Usmanov’s $600m superyachts,  France’s finance minister has announced the country has seized a yacht linked to Rosneft boss, Igor Sechin, in the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat.

The French finance ministry announced the yacht was owned by an entity of which Sechin had been identified as the main shareholder.

Meanwhile... Russia Plans Public Executions Of Brave Ukrainians 

As oligarchs try to hide their yachts in countries without extradition treaties, Russia has drawn up plans for public executions in Ukraine as cities are captured by Russian troops, Bloomberg reports.

Bloomberg quotes a European intelligence official as saying that Moscow has elaborated strategies to discourage Ukrainians from retaliating as cities fall under Kremlin's control.

The official said that Moscow intends to suppress the protests, detain the opponents and possibly carry out public executions.

We recall that the Russian army encountered resistance from the Ukrainians, which it could not have imagined even in its darkest scenarios. Not only do the Ukrainian soldiers fight bravely, but there were many instances of civilians standing in front of the Russian tanks in an attempt to stop them from advancing.
Yacht Dilbar, Source: Super Yacht Fan

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