Home » An Unsanctioned Russian Oligarch Says the U.K. Seized His Superyacht to Look Tough

An Unsanctioned Russian Oligarch Says the U.K. Seized His Superyacht to Look Tough

by multimill
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Russian oligarchs have had a good variety of their superyachts seized since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine greater than a 12 months in the past. Now a kind of superyacht house owners is suing the UK for taking possession of his vessel.

Sergei Naumenko, a property developer and meals importer, claims that the U.Okay. seized his yacht with out trigger in an effort to come back off as robust towards different Russian billionaires, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Notably, Naumenko has not been positioned on any sanctions listing, as quite a few different Russian businessmen have been.

“Disproportionate motion towards people can’t be justified by a generalized want to look robust, whether or not that message is meant for consumption by the home voters or elsewhere,” Nigel Griffin, Naumenko’s lawyer, mentioned in court docket filings quoted by Bloomberg.

Naumenko’s legal professionals declined to remark to Bloomberg, as did a spokesperson for the U.Okay.’s Division for Transport. Nevertheless, Jason Pobjoy, a lawyer for the federal government company, mentioned in court docket paperwork, “The system of patronage below President Putin’s regime implies that Mr. Naumenko was unlikely to have made and retained such a degree of wealth with out exhibiting loyalty and immediately or not directly benefiting from the Russian regime.” Naumenko maintains that he has by no means partaken in political actions, and that he has no relationship with Putin.

The businessman’s superyacht, Phi, was detained by the British authorities again in March 2022. The 197-foot, $50 million vessel was solely accomplished in 2021, and it’s been caught in London’s Canary Wharf since December of that 12 months. The yacht was initially meant to go away from there for Malta, however the transport secretary on the time took management of the boat earlier than it may depart.

Over the previous couple of years, governments around the globe have seized the yachts of highly effective Russian residents, in an effort to get them to show away from Putin. The U.Okay. authorities, for instance, believes that taking possession of a yacht—even one owned by an unsanctioned individual—can ship a sign to the remainder of Russia’s ultra-wealthy inhabitants. To keep away from having their very own vessels or different luxurious gadgets taken away, they could choose to disavow Russia’s management and the battle it’s been waging in Ukraine, Pobjoy mentioned, in response to Bloomberg.

Whether or not that technique will work over the lengthy haul is an open query. Up to now, few Russian oligarchs have proven a lot urge for food for standing as much as Putin.

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