The Dilbar, owned by Alisher Usmanov, sails near Istanbul, Turkey May 29, 2019
- Insider mapped the locations of 19 yachts belonging to Russian oligarchs.
- Sanctions prompted by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have put their prize assets in danger.
- Several of their yachts appeared to be heading to locations where they can’t be seized.
Following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Russia and a raft of sanctions, yachts belonging to Russian oligarchs became the focus of international attention.
Using automatic tracking data, Insider mapped the location of 19 yachts belonging to some of Putin’s closest inner circle as of March 3.
Their locations and routes suggest that several are heading to places that they can’t be seized or with significant tax advantages.
Seizure is a real worry. On Thursday, the French finance ministry said it had seized the Amore Vero, a $120 million super-yacht belonging to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, which was moored in a French port.
The 500-foot Dilbar, belonging to Alisher Usmanov, was in Hamburg as of Thursday. That day, port authorities in Hamburg denied a report in Forbes that it had seized the vessel, Reuters reported. Usmanov is the subject of sanctions from the US, the UK and the EU.
Putin’s own Graceful left Hamburg on February 7, Insider’s map shows, and was last seen in Kaliningrad, Russia.
The yacht ‘Graceful’ of Russian President Vladimir Putin is moored at the port of Sochi, Russia, 13 July 2015.
Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Images
Insider’s map also shows four mega-yachts, belonging to Vladimir Potanin, Alexander Abramov, Alexei Mordashovis, and Oleg Deripaska, were in the Maldives.
The Maldives, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, does not have an extradition treaty with the US.
The Nirvana, belonging to Potanin, was under way with the stated destination of Bandos, an island in the Maldives, but actually was heading northwest. As of March 4, Potanin — Russia’s richest man — was not a target of sanctions.
The $100 million Titan, belonging to Alexander Abramov, arrived in the Maldives on February 28, the Guardian reported. Abramov, chair of Russia’s largest steel company, has also so far escaped the US sanctions list.
Meanwhile, two yachts belonging to Roman Abramovich were moored in tax haven Sint Maarten as of Thursday.
Dmitry Rybolovlev’s yacht, named Anna, left Sint Maarten on February 14 and as of Thursday was sailing near St Vincent and the Grenadines, another tax haven.
Neither Rybolovlev nor Abramovich were under sanctions, but are both high profile football magnates under increasing scrutiny as Russian troops advance in Ukraine.
The yachts, often valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, are huge repositories of wealth.
They became even more important assets when western countries began cracking down on oligarchs, who have lost approximately one third of their combined wealth due to the impact of sanctions, according to Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index.