The world's largest yacht was nabbed by German authorities for its connections to a Russian billionaire, the latest superyacht seizure amid Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
The 500-foot yacht, worth $750 million, was seized Thursday after it was confirmed to be linked to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov. The ship, containing two helipads and a swimming pool, is owned by Usmanov’s sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova, making it subject to seizure, a German official told CNBC.
The yacht, named the Dilbar after Usmanov's mother, was initially restricted from leaving its anchorage in Hamburg, Germany, on March 3. It was not seized at the time, but officials planned to impose punitive measures later, an anonymous senior Biden administration official said.
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The 80-member crew of the Dilbar left on March 9 after Usmanov was apparently unable to pay wages due to international sanctions on Russia. The U.S. Treasury Department has designated the Dilbar, as well as Usmanov’s private jet, as “blocked property,” making it unable to pay the crew in dollars.
Other assets have been taken due to their connections to Russian oligarchs. Ukrainian authorities took possession of a yacht, as well as 26 cars, 32 apartments, 23 houses, 30 plots of land, and 17 parking spots, belonging to oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk on Wednesday. He was arrested Tuesday after spending more than a month on the run.
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Spanish law enforcement seized a 255-foot yacht owned by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg on April 4 after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a warrant for its capture.
At least 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers and 19,000 Russian soldiers have died since the invasion, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Millions have fled Ukraine since the outbreak of war.