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Russia Billionaires Move Superyachts to Maldives as Sanctions Tighten, Data Shows

The United States has said it will take strict action to seize property of sanctioned Russians.
Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

At least five superyachts owned by Russian billionaires were anchored or cruising on Wednesday in Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, ship tracking data showed.

The vessels’ arrival in the archipelago off the coast of Sri Lanka follows the imposition of severe Western sanctions on Russia in reprisal for its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Late on Wednesday Forbes reported that Germany had seized Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s mega yacht in a Hamburg shipyard.

Usmanov was on a list of billionaires to face sanctions from the European Union on Monday. A Forbes report based on three sources in the yacht industry said his 512-foot yacht Dilbar, valued at $600 million, was seized by German authorities.

German authorities did not immediately respond to Reuters inquiries. Forbes said representatives for Usmanov did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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