Cyprus Mail

Germany seizes Russian billionaire Usmanov’s yacht

the dilbar, a luxury yacht owned by russian billionaire alisher usmanov, sails in istanbul's bosphorus
The Dilbar, a luxury yacht owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, sails in the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey

German authorities have seized a nearly $600 million luxury yacht owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who has faced European Union sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Forbes reported, citing sources in the yacht industry.

The more-than-500-foot (150 metre) Dilbar superyacht, which boasts a 25-metre swimming pool, was taken in the northern port of Hamburg, the Forbes website reported. Separately on Thursday, French authorities took control of a yacht they said belonged to Rosneft boss Igor Sechin.

Dilbar had been undergoing a refit in shipyards of Blohm + Voss, Forbes reported, adding that the German government had frozen the asset and employees working on the ship did not appear for work on Wednesday.

No one at Germany’s General Customs Office was available to comment.

A spokesperson for Blohm + Voss declined to comment on the Dilbar, saying only that all orders and projects of the Luerssen Group and its subsidiaries were treated in accordance with the legal situation.

Forbes said representatives for Usmanov did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The EU imposed sanctions on the Russian tycoon and metals magnate and 25 other prominent people for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a decision published in the EU’s official journal.

Delivered in 2016, Dilbar is the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage, according to the Luerssen website. Among its recreational facilities is the largest-ever pool to have been installed on a yacht.

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

The economy senator for Hamburg said on Wednesday that no yacht would leave the port unless it had proper clearance.

A spokesperson for the city’s economy ministry said customs authorities would be responsible for enforcing any sanctions on Russian yachts and they would only give clearance once the ownership of any vessel was clear.

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