Russian superyacht nabbed by German authorities

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A Russian billionaire with close ties to the highest power brokers in Moscow lost assets worth as much as $735 million in one fell swoop this week after German authorities impounded his superyacht, the Dilbar.

On paper, the yacht is owned by Gulbakhor Ismailova, the sister of notorious Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov. Dilbar is their mother’s name. The yacht is believed to be one of the largest privately-owned vessels in the world. 

German authorities confirmed they located the Dilbar on Tuesday despite attempts to conceal it offshore. The yacht is currently held at the Port of Hamburg in Germany, according to media reports.

“(The Office of Foreign Assets Controls) is identifying Usmanov’s superyacht and aircraft as blocked property in which Usmanov has an interest,” the Treasury Department said in an email statement to USA Today.

U.S. officials said operating costs of the Dilbar are estimated at $60 million per year.

The U.S government said Mr. Usmanov holds “significant interests” in a variety of fields, including metals and mining, telecommunications, and information technology sectors. The Treasury Department said he is close to both Russian President Vladimir Putin and former President Dmitri Medvedev.

Usmanov and Putin allegedly have financial ties, while Medvedev has reportedly benefited from the personal use of luxurious residencies controlled by Usmanov,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The seizure of the Dilbar is part of a worldwide effort to sanction Russian oligarchs and political leaders following their invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February which has cost thousands of lives and resulted in millions of people fleeing the country.



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