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Superyachts Owned by Russian Billionaires Spotted in Maldive Waters After Harsh Sanctions Are Imposed

Photo: Reuters

On Wednesday, five Russian billionaire-owned superyachts were anchored or sailing in the Maldives, an island nation located in the Indian Ocean that does not have a treaty with Western countries for extradition. 

The entry of the ships into an island off Sri Lanka comes after Western sanctions were put in place against Russia for its attack on Ukraine.

Germany recently captured a Russian billionaire, Alisher Usmanov’s humongous yacht in the German port city of Hamburg Wednesday. 

Usmanov is among the names on the roster of billionaires to receive sanctions from the European Union on Monday. In addition, the yacht (Dilbar) of a Russian billionaire estimated to be valued at $600 million has been captured by the German government. 

The Clio mega-yacht owned by Oleg Deripaska, founder of aluminum behemoth Rusal was spotted in the capital Male on Wednesday. Deripaska faced sanctions from the United States last 2018. 

Furthermore, Alexander Abramov’s the Titan entered on February 28. Abramov is a co-founder of steel manufacturer Evraz. 

Three more yacht owners from Russia have been spotted in the waters around the Maldives. It includes the Nirvana, an 88-meter (288 feet) yacht owned by the richest man in Russia—Vladimir Potanin. Several ships were last spotted sailing into the ports in Middle Eastern countries earlier this year.

The United States announced that it would take serious actions to capture the property of sanctioned Russians.

On Sunday, the White House tweeted: “This coming week, we will launch a multilateral Transatlantic task force to identify, hunt down, and freeze the assets of sanctioned Russian companies and oligarchs—their yachts, their mansions, and any other ill-gotten gains that we can find and freeze under the law.” 

The United States imposed sanctions on Deripaska and other influential Russians in 2018 because of their association with President Vladimir Putin following allegations that Moscow interfered in the 2016 US election.

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