France seized yacht linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch : NPR


Amore Vero, the yacht owned by a company linked to Igor Sechin, is pictured at the La Ciotat shipyard in southern France on Thursday.

Nicolas Tucat/AFP via Getty Images


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Nicolas Tucat/AFP via Getty Images

France seized yacht linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch : NPR

Amore Vero, the yacht owned by a company linked to Igor Sechin, is pictured at the La Ciotat shipyard in southern France on Thursday.

Nicolas Tucat/AFP via Getty Images

French authorities said they seized a yacht linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch Igor Sechin.

Sechin served as Russia’s deputy prime minister from 2008 to 2012 and is the current CEO of state oil company Rosneft.

He is one of many “elites close to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin” whom the US Treasury Department targeted with sanctions last week. The European Union imposed sanctions on Sechin on Monday, calling him “Putin’s most trusted and closest adviser and personal friend.” and claiming the two were in daily contact.

Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Finance announced Thursday that French authorities had seized Sechin’s yacht – named “Amor Vero” or “True Love” in Italian – at the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat on Wednesday.

“Thank you to the French customs officers who are applying the European Union sanctions against those close to the Russian government,” he said, according to a Reuters translation of his tweet.

The 280ft yacht had been moored in La Ciotat in southern France since early January and was expected to remain there under repair until the end of March, CNBC reports. But the French finance ministry said the yacht was preparing to cast off when authorities began their check, which lasted several hours.

The ministry said it identified Sechin as the largest shareholder in the company that owns the yacht, according to The Guardian.

“As part of the implementation of European Union sanctions against Russia and in support of Ukraine, we have seized a first yacht,” wrote the French minister to the Ministry of Action and Accounts public Olivier Dussopt in a tweet translated by France24.

Superyachts head for safe harbor after US and Europe announce sanctions

Citing data from the Marine Traffic maritime database, CNBC reported that at least four Russian billionaires have started moving their superyachts to Montenegro and the Maldives – which do not have an extradition treaty with the United States. – after the United States and other Western countries announced a series of sanctions against Russian oligarchs and financial institutions.

President Biden has repeatedly pledged to prosecute the crimes of Russian oligarchs, including in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

“We join European allies in finding and seizing their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets,” he said. “We come for your ill-begotten gains.”

The next day, the US Department of Justice announced the “Task Force KleptoCapture”, which it says will enforce sanctions and other financial measures imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, seize assets from people who are violating them and will spare no effort in the investigation. criminal acts that support Russian aggression.

German authorities deny reports they seized oligarch’s yacht

France’s announcement comes a day after Forbes reported – citing three yacht industry sources – that German authorities in the port city of Hamburg had seized the superyacht of another sanctioned Russian billionaire, Alisher Usmanov.

Hamburg officials have since denied the report, with a spokesman for its economic authority saying The Guardian that “no yacht was confiscated”. Any orders to seize sanctioned goods should come from higher federal customs authorities, they added.

The yacht in question, named “Dilbar”, is 512 feet long and is valued at $600 million, the two outlets report. It can accommodate up to 24 guests in a dozen suites, as well as up to 96 crew members, according to luxury yacht comparison site YachtCharterFleet.

Putin’s alleged yacht would be out of reach

Satellite images obtained by CBS News show the superyacht believed to belong to Putin moored in Kaliningrad, a “highly militarized port in Russian territorial waters” and beyond the reach of US sanctions.

Ship traffic data suggests Putin’s purported yacht ‘The Graceful’ left Germany two weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Tuesday, the “hacktivist” group Anonymous took the credit for changing the yacht’s call sign to “FKPTN” and its destination to “hell”.




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