The Net is closing in on the Russian oligarchs – what has been seized and what could come next? Business News

Until last week, Russia’s oligarchs may have felt almost untouchable aboard their superyachts, free to enjoy their nearly limitless wealth wherever they please in the world.

Now the net has started to tighten around Vladimir Putin’s closest allies, who are rushing to safe havens and selling off assets as European authorities rush to confiscate the spoils of their time dominating post-Soviet Russia. .

On Wednesday, French authorities seized a yacht belonging to Igor Sechin, chief executive of Russian oil and gas company Rosneft, a former KGB agent and close ally of Putin. The 88-metre ‘Amore Vero’ – or ‘true love’ – is valued at €108m.

The seizure came after customs officials found that the yacht “was taking steps to get under way urgently, without the repair work being completed,” the French finance ministry said.

Igor Sechin’s superyacht, Amore Vero’

(AFP via Getty Images)

Not to be outdone, port authorities in Hamburg have seized a $600 million ship belonging to Russian metallurgy magnate Alisher Usmanov, according to Forbes magazine.

Dilbar, the largest superyacht ever built at 156m in length, had berthed in the harbor for maintenance work. Other more mobile ships belonging to the Russian elite were followed in the direction of the Maldives.

The seizures served to highlight notable inaction by the UK. Although London has been a hub of oligarchic wealth for years, no property has yet been confiscated from wealthy Russians since the invasion of Ukraine began.

Labor MP Chris Bryant has accused Boris Johnson of being “scared” to act.

He said: “I don’t understand why we haven’t seized a single yacht, palace or serious asset from Putin’s oligarch yet. Unlike our European neighbors.”

He added: “Auction houses, including Christie’s and Sotheby’s, will likely see very valuable assets traded by Putin supporters. They should refuse to handle them.”

Michael Gove, the upgrade secretary, is drawing up a ‘blacklist’ of the oligarchs closest to Mr Putin whose assets are in the crosshairs of governments, but experts have questioned whether action will ever be taken.

Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland, a book detailing the rise of the world of offshore finance and those who abuse it, warned that such confiscations “will never happen”.

Legal experts have warned it could take months to build a sanctions case against Russian oligarchs that would allow assets to be confiscated.

In the meantime, Moscow’s ultra-wealthy tycoons should redouble their efforts to protect their wealth from seizure.

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea Football Club up for sale this week after 19 years as an owner. He is also reportedly on the lookout for quick buyers for his £100m+ home in Kensington Palace Gardens – a road known as ‘Billionaires’ Row’ – as well as a waterfront home. the river at Chelsea.

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens


A number of oligarchs’ yachts are now in the Maldives, a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

A US-sanctioned superyacht owned by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska arrived in the Maldives this week. The 73-metre Clio dropped anchor off the Maldives capital this week, according to maritime data website Marine Traffic.

According to its manufacturer, Lürssen, Clio “was designed for long trips around the world and independent living for several months at a time”.

Mr Deripaska, founder of aluminum giant Rusal, was sanctioned by the United States in 2018.

The Titan, owned by Alexander Abramov, co-founder of Russian steel producer Evraz, arrived in the Maldives on Monday and three other oligarch yachts were in the area this week. They included the 88-meter (288-foot) Nirvana owned by Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Potanin.

Even if they remain out of the reach of Western law enforcement, the oligarchs could soon run into trouble.

Superyachts are very maintenance-intensive, and the number of equipped berths to perform superyacht maintenance is limited. Anyone who works on a ship of a sanctioned oligarch can find that they themselves are breaking the sanctions.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we launched our first campaign to welcome refugees during the war in Syria in 2015. Today, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition to Following the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, we are asking the government to go further and faster to ensure the delivery of aid. To learn more about our Welcome to Refugees campaign, Click here. To sign the petition Click here. If you would like to donate, please Click here for our GoFundMe page.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2022-03-03 21:41:04

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *