Escape from Russia’s sanctions?: Five oligarch yachts were spotted at the same site

Escape from Russia’s sanctions?
Five oligarch yachts spotted in the same location

There is the yacht of the richest man in Russia, as well as the luxury boats of two industrial billionaires. The ships of the oligarchs seem to congregate in the Maldives. The country does not hand over wanted persons to the United States – which recently announced that it intends to confiscate Russian assets.

According to ship data, there are currently at least five superyachts owned by Russian billionaires in the Maldives. This includes “Clio” owned by Oleg Deripaska, founder of the aluminum giant Rusal, as reported by the Marine Traffic database. This was already sanctioned by the USA in 2018. His ship docked on Wednesday off the Indian Ocean island nation, which does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

Ships arrived at the archipelago off the coast of Sri Lanka on February 24, after tough Western sanctions were imposed on Russia in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. This includes Titan. It belongs to Alexander Abramov, one of the founders of the steel production company Evraz. Three other yachts owned by Russian billionaires have also been spotted in the waters of the Maldives, according to the data. Among them is the 88-meter “Nirvana” that belongs to the richest man in Russia: Vladimir Potanin.

The White House announces the search for assets

Most of the ships were last seen moored in Middle Eastern ports earlier this year. A spokesperson for the Maldives government did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. The United States wants to take tough measures to seize the property of Russians who are under sanctions.

“Next week we will launch a multilateral transatlantic task force to identify, track and freeze the assets of Russian companies and sanctioned oligarchs — their yachts, mansions, and any other illicit profits we find that can be frozen by law,” the White House recently announced.

Washington already imposed sanctions on Deripaska and other influential Russians in 2018 for their ties to President Vladimir Putin. The reason at the time was suspected Russian interference in the 2016 US election, which Moscow denies.

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