Russia billionaires shift superyachts to Maldives as sanctions bite

Five superyachts owned by Russian billionaires were seen in the Indian Ocean island Maldives following the imposition of severe Western sanctions on Moscow in reprisal for its attack on Ukraine.

At least five superyachts owned by Russian billionaires were anchored or cruising in the Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, according to ship-tracking data.

The vessels’ arrival in the archipelago off the coast of Sri Lanka follows the imposition of severe Western sanctions on Russia in reprisal for its February 24 attack on Ukraine.

Late on Wednesday Forbes reported that Germany had seized Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s mega yacht in a Hamburg shipyard.

Usmanov was on a list of billionaires to face sanctions from the European Union on Monday. A Forbes report based on three sources in the yacht industry said his 512-foot yacht Dilbar, valued at $600 million, was seized by German authorities.

German authorities did not immediately respond to Reuters news agency’s inquiries. Forbes said representatives for Usmanov did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sanctions against oligarchs 

Earlier, the Clio superyacht, owned by Oleg Deripaska, the founder of aluminum giant Rusal, who was sanctioned by the United States in 2018, was anchored off the capital Male on Wednesday, according to shipping database MarineTraffic.

The Titan, owned by Alexander Abramov, a co-founder of steel producer Evraz, arrived on February 28.

Three further yachts owned by Russian billionaires were seen cruising in Maldives waters on Wednesday, the data showed. They include the 288 f Nirvana owned by Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Potanin.

Most vessels were last seen anchored in Middle Eastern ports earlier in the year.

A spokesperson for Maldives’ government did not respond to a request for comment.

The United States has said it will take strict action to seize the property of sanctioned Russians over Moscow’s war on Ukraine.

Source: TRT

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