Putin’s ‘Close Personal Friend’ Has Yacht Seized by France amid Oligarch Crackdown

The French government has hit Vladimir Putin where it hurts and seized the multi-million dollar yacht of his “close personal friend,” Russian oligarch Igor Sechin.

On Wednesday, French authorities dropped the hammer on Putin by seizing the Amore Vero yacht they say is owned by Sechin.

The 280-foot yacht was confiscated in the La Ciotat shipyards, on the south coast of France.

Billionaire Sechin is a former deputy prime minister of Russia.

He has been the CEO of Russian state oil company Rosneft since 2012.

Sechin is one of Putin’s “most trusted and closest advisors, as well as his personal friend,” according to EU sanction documents.

“A yacht belonging to a Russian oligarch has been seized,” France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

“Thank you to the French customs officers who enforce the sanctions of the European Union against those close to the Russian authorities.

“Therefore he is supporting the consolidation of the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula into the Russian Federation, which in turn further undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine,” the sanctions document said.

As Slay News previously reported, Germany seized a Russian oligarch’s $600 million yacht yesterday.

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s 512-foot yacht Dilbar has been seized by German authorities in Hamburg.

According to Forbes: “The ship has been in the Hamburg shipyards of German shipbuilding firm Blohm+Voss since late October for a refitting job.

“Sources who spoke to Forbes said that the German government froze the asset and that, likely as a result, Blohm+Voss employees who had been working on the yacht didn’t show up to work on Wednesday.

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“Representatives for Blohm+Voss and Usmanov didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Usmanov purchased Dilbar in 2016 for a reported cost of $600 million from German shipbuilder Lürssen, which custom-built it for him over 52 months.

“The firm calls it “one of the most complex and challenging yachts ever built, in terms of both dimensions and technology.”

“At 15,917 tons, it’s the world’s largest motor yacht by gross tonnage, and is typically manned by a crew of 96 people,” Forbes reported.

After being hit with sanctions he said: “On 28 February 2022 I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union.

“I believe that such a decision is unfair, and the reason is employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honour, dignity, and business reputation.

“I would use all legal means to protect my owner and reputation.”

The Dilbar specifics are:

  • Length: 156 m (511 ft)
  • Guests: 36 in 18 cabins
  • Crew: 84 in 40 cabins
  • Builder: Lurssen
  • Designer: Espen Oeino
  • Interior Designer: Andrew Winch Design
  • Year:2016
  • Speed: 22.5 knots
  • Engines: Wärtsila diesel electric
  • Volume: 15,917 ton
  • IMO: 9661792
  • Price: US$ 800 million
  • Annual Running Cost: US$ 50 – 80 million
  • The Amore Vero specifics are:
  • Length: 86m (281ft)
  • Guests: 14
  • Crew: 28
  • Builder: Oceanco
  • Designer: Lobanov
  • Interior Designer: Lobanov
  • Year: 2013
  • Speed: 18
  • Engines: MTU
  • Volume:2,800 tons
  • IMO: 1011757
  • Price: US$ 120 million
  • Annual Running Cost: US$ 12 million

From CNBC:

Data from shipping database MarineTraffic, reviewed by CNBC, indicated on Thursday that a number of superyachts are currently anchored in Male, the capital of Maldives.

They appear to include Titan, a superyacht owned by billionaire Alexander Abramov, the chairman of steel company Evraz.

Russian business leaders have been moving their yachts toward Montenegro and the Maldives following the announcement of sanctions by leaders from around the world, including the U.S. Treasury targeting Russia’s central bank.

The Maldives doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S., according to World Population Review.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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