A small Italian town on the Tuscan coast is the epicenter of an investigation into one of the world’s largest, newest and most expensive superyachts.
The guard said the “mysterious 140-meter-long, six-story” ship called the Scheherazade is being investigated by Italian police and locals alike for the identity of its owner.
Activists led by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny are convinced that the $700 million (£528 million) yacht belongs to the Russian president. Wladimir Putin.
Researchers said nearly half of the Russian crew members they located were employed by Russia’s Federal Security Service, which is responsible for the security of high-ranking officials like Putin.
“They are Russian state employees, military personnel, and they regularly travel to Italy as a group to work on the mysterious yacht,” wrote investigative journalist Maria Pevchikh Twitter.
However, the ship’s captain, Guy Bennett-Pearce, a British citizen, denied that Putin owned the yacht or even set foot on it. “I never saw him. I never met him,” he said The New York Timesand added that its owner is not on any sanctions list.
The NYT said that even for the “hyper-confidential world of superyachting” this ship surrounded an “unusual level of secrecy”. Contractors and crew members sign non-disclosure agreements and the ship has a cover to hide its name tag. A high metal barrier was erected at the pier to partially hide the yacht from onlookers.
The sun Said the “nauseous luxuries” enjoyed by Vladimir Putin on board include “numerous swimming pools, a spa, a sauna, a theater, ballrooms, a gym and two helipads.” Bathrooms are “adorned with gold toilet paper holders and faucets,” and the ship even boasts its own hospital.
“Personal touches for the despot” include a judo gym with framed pictures of black belts, The Sun said, along with “the biggest TV on a yacht,” which stretches 15 feet (4.5 m) across an entire wall and has a million installs cost euros.
Tory MP Tom Tugendhat told the tabloid that “Putin’s spoiled nautical palace” “started with cash stolen from the Russian people and is now swimming off the Italian Riviera showing us what we should be doing”.
Speaking to the Italian parliament yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the Italian authorities to confiscate the yacht. “Don’t be a haven for killers,” he said. “Lock down all their properties, accounts and yachts – from the Scheherazade to the smallest.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/956177/vladimir-putin-superyacht-italy The secret of the £500m superyacht ‘owned by Vladimir Putin’