The Chicago Journal

Russian Billionaires Move Superyachts to Maldives as Sanctions Against Them Continue to Mount

Photo: Reuters

Five billionaire-owned Russian superyachts were seen Wednesday in the waters of the Maldives, an island nation that does not have an extradition treaty with the West, says ship tracking data. 

The ships’ entry into the island off the coast of Sri Lanka comes after Western countries imposed harsh punishment on Russia in retaliation for its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

German authorities have captured the yacht of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov in a Hamburg shipyard.

Usmanov is among the names on the roster of billionaires to receive sanctions from the European Union on Monday. According to three sources within the industry, the $600 million yacht—Dilbar—is now in custody by the German government. 

The Clio superyacht owned by Oleg Deripaska, founder of aluminum behemoth Rusal was spotted in the capital city of Male on Wednesday. Notably, in 2018, the West imposed sanctions against Deripaska. 

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

According to data, three more billionaires’ yachts were spotted navigating Maldives waters on Wednesday. It includes the Nirvana, an 88-meter (288 feet) yacht owned by the richest man in Russia—Vladimir Potanin. Several vessels were last spotted anchored in Middle Eastern ports earlier in the year. 

The United States plans to 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.” 

After the US accused Russia of involvement in their 2016 election, Washington imposed harsh trade restrictions on several Russian oligarchs.