Observer told how businessmen hide yachts to avoid arrest

According to The Observer, six superyachts associated with British-sanctioned businessmen turned off the identification system to hide their whereabouts. Among them are ships related to Deripaska and Alekperov

Clio yacht

Yachts believed to be linked to UK-sanctioned Russian businessmen have started to disable tracking devices, according to The Observer investigation (excerpted from The Guardian, both newspapers owned by Guardian Media Group).

One of the crew members of the yacht, which, according to the newspaper, belongs to one of the “Russian oligarchs”, told the publication that he had received an order to turn off the automatic identification system (AIS), designed to identify ships, their dimensions, heading and other data. The system can be turned off for various reasons, but according to experts interviewed by the publication, ship owners do not want them to be discovered, and thus try to avoid the seizure of property.

TheObserver with a link VesselsValue reports to the company that at least six superyachts associated with businessmen under British sanctions were “hidden”; your location for more than a month. Among them:

  • The 82m Alfa Nero yacht, valued at $120 million (according to industry portal SuperYachtFan), is believed to be linked to businessman Andrey Guryev, a former member of the board of directors of PhosAgro. Forbes also wrote that the ship belongs to the entrepreneur. The yacht was last sighted on March 3 off the island of Sint Maarten in the Caribbean.
  • The 72m, $65 million yacht Clio, which is linked to Oleg Deripaska. After the start of the Russian military operation, the ship headed from the Indian Ocean towards Turkey. The yacht last transmitted position data on 18 April from the Black Sea, near Sochi and Novorossiysk; three days later, the ship moored in the Sochi port of Imeretinsky, wrote RBC Krasnodar.
  • The 70-meter Galactica Super Nova worth $80 million, associated with the ex-head of LUKOIL Vagit Alekperov. On March 2, the ship was off the coast of Croatia, since then it has not transmitted location data;
  • 140-meter Ocean Victory, which, according to journalists, belongs to the chairman of the board of directors of the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works Viktor Rashnikov. Vessel cost— $300 million, moored in the Maldives on March 1.
  • $300 million 142m Motor Yacht A linked to Andrey Melnichenko. She disappeared from the global tracking system after March 10, when the ship was in the Maldives.
  • The 52m long, $40 million My Sky yacht, allegedly linked to Igor Kesaev, is an entrepreneur. On March 30, she was also moored in the Maldives, and after that she did not transmit location data.

Deripaska, Rashnikov and Melnichenko came under British sanctions in March, Guryev, Alekperov and Kesaev— in April. The restrictions include a ban on entering the UK and a freeze on all assets in the United Kingdom.

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Melnichenko is also under EU sanctions. In April, Reuters reported that an associated vessel, Motor Yacht A, along with five other yachts related to Russian businessmen, were sheltering the Maldives. According to the Attorney General of the Maldives, Hussein Shamim, it is not so easy for the authorities to confiscate ships if the owners did not violate local laws.

According to the Observer, since the start of the military operation in Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions, at least 13 ships with a total cost of about $2.5 billion. One of the latest— the yacht Amadea, which, under a US warrant, was allowed to be confiscated by the Supreme Court of Fiji. The Fiji Times linked her with Suleiman Kerimov, he has been under Washington sanctions since 2018.

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