Kremlin ‘ties’: Italy confiscates Putin’s alleged mega-yacht

“Links” with the Kremlin
Italy seizes Putin’s alleged megayacht

The “Scheherazade” is from German production and is worth hundreds of millions of euros. The mega yacht is even believed to belong to Russian President Putin himself, but is now confiscated by Italian authorities.

Italian authorities have arrested the mega yacht “Scheherazade” lying in a Tuscan shipyard. The investigations revealed “important economic and commercial ties between the official owner of the ‘Scheherazade’ and important figures in the Russian government”, the Italian Ministry of Economic Affairs said.

The Cayman Islands-flagged yacht, which was last serviced in the port of Marina di Carrara, had long been noticed by authorities. Apparently, the Minister of Finance, Daniele Franco, prevented the “Scheherazade” from sailing and a possible escape from Italian territory with his decision to confiscate the ship. The New York Times reported this week that the yacht was launched on Tuesday after months in dry dock. Crew members were seen rushing to load the vessel and the yacht was refueled the previous week.

The ministry did not release the name of the owner. According to media reports, the “Scheherazade”, which sails under the flag of the Cayman Islands, is owned by a company registered in the Marshall Islands. Members of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation had awarded the yacht to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Luxury yacht company The Italian Sea Group, which last worked on the vessel, announced a few weeks ago that according to documents Putin is not the owner. According to Italian media, Eduard Khudainatov, the ex-head of Russian state-owned company Rosneft, is registered as the owner. The oil manager is also named as the owner of the super yacht Amadea, which was seized in Fiji on Tuesday.

Built in 2020 by the German company Lürssen, the ship will have two helipads, a swimming pool and a cinema, according to the specialized site SuperYachtFan, and is worth around 640 million euros. Since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24, many yachts belonging to Russian oligarchs have been confiscated in Europe.

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