A superyacht believed to be owned by a Russian oligarch was seized by Spanish authorities on Wednesday, it has been reported.
A £458 million ship, called the Crescent, belongs to Igor Sechin, the head of Russia’s oil giant Rosneft, a police source in Spain told Reuters. At 135 meters long, experts say it is one of the largest and most luxurious in the world of its kind.
It was docked in Tarragona, Catalonia, as officials took action, Spain’s transport ministry said. According to the monitoring website Marine Traffic, the boat arrived in Spain from Italy last November and is registered in the Cayman Islands.
Mr. Sechin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was one of many Russian billionaires sanctioned by the European Union on February 28 – including freezing all of his assets in the bloc.
The UK followed suit on March 10, hitting the oil magnate with an asset freeze and travel ban over his alleged relationship with the Kremlin. It was the day the UK government punished Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, imposing the same restrictions on him as they did with Mr Sechin, leaving the Premier League club based in the west. His west London fell into disarray.
Spain’s decision is the latest in a series of arrests aimed at punishing those with alleged links to Putin, following the Russian leader’s deadly invasion of Ukraine last month.
Just five days ago, a £530 million yacht owned by Andrey Melnichenko, another tycoon, was seized by Italian authorities. A notice from the Italian financial police said that the ship, named “SY A”, was kept at the port of Trieste in the northeast of the country.
In fact, the Crescent is not even the first boat owned by Mr. Sechin to be intercepted by European police since the sanctions were introduced. On March 3, France arrested Amore Vero, an 86m-long superyacht, during a nighttime operation as it tried to escape the measures that were in effect.
The crew was said to be rushing to take off from a shipyard in La Ciotat, on the outskirts of Marseilles, where it was being repaired, when a group of customs officers approached her and informed her of the arrest. . The yacht, which includes a swimming pool that turns into a helipad, is expected to stay there until the end of April.
Five such yachts, which have long become a symbol of the extraordinary wealth accumulated by the tycoons, were seized in total by European governments.
Under current law across most of Europe, for a government to actually have the right to own any property, the government must be able to demonstrate that the particular property is mentioned or used as part of the property. crime or purchased with proceeds of illegal activity.
Experts say that trying to tie up a superyacht as evidence of a crime in Russia seems impossible.
Still, it remains an easy and effective way for countries to punish Russia for making things difficult for Putin and his allies, and is expected to continue when war breaks out.
Mr. Sechin is considered one of the most influential oligarchs, not only because Rosneft is one of the largest crude oil producers in the world, but because he is said to work directly with the Russian state.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/superyacht-linked-to-oligarch-and-putin-ally-seized-by-spanish-authorities-41454774.html The superyacht related to the tycoon and Putin’s ally was arrested by the Spanish authorities