Russian Oligarch's Superyacht Seized in Germany - Rolling Stone
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Russian Oligarch’s Superyacht Reportedly Seized in Germany

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s 512-foot Dilbar, one of the biggest yachts in the world, seized after European Union announces sanctions against him

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 20:  The worlds biggest yacht The Dilbar owned by Alisher Usmanov sails by the Monte Carlo Country Club on day five of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 20, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 20:  The worlds biggest yacht The Dilbar owned by Alisher Usmanov sails by the Monte Carlo Country Club on day five of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 20, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The Dilbar owned by Alisher Usmanov

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One of the world’s largest yachts, owned by a Russian oligarch who faces sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine, was reportedly seized Wednesday by German authorities, marking one of the first super-yachts to be seized as Europe and the U.S. crack down on the Russian billionaires within Vladimir Putin’s orbit.

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s custom-built 512-foot yacht Dilbar — which Usmanov purchased in 2016 for $600 million and was, at one point, the largest yacht in the world by tonnage — was seized two days after the European Union announced plans to sanction the oligarch, Forbes reports. The Dilbar was docked in Hamburg, Germany, where it was undergoing a refitting job since October 2021, adding that shipbuilders that were working on the Dilbar didn’t show up for work Wednesday because the German government had taken the yacht. (Hamberg’s government has denied that they seized any property. “No yachts have been confiscated,” a spokesperson told The Guardian. “A handover [of the yacht to its owner] is also currently not planned. No yacht is going to leave the port that is not allowed to do so.”)

According to Reuters, since the announcement of sanctions against Russian oligarchs, a handful of their superyachts have made their way to the Maldives, which does not have extradition agreements in place with the U.S. “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,” the White House previously warned.

Usmanov — who the U.S. Senate called a “senior member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle” while attempting to sanction him under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2018 — reportedly has a multi-billion dollar empire that includes metals giant Metalloinvest, the Russian cellphone giant MegaFon, consumer electronics firm Xiaomi, as well as estates throughout Europe. Forbes reports that Usmanov was also among Facebook’s earliest investors.

The European Union announced plans to blacklist Usmanov and prohibit his travel throughout the continent as part of the sanctions against Russian oligarchs amid the invasion of Ukraine. 

Also on Wednesday, the Everton F.C. in the English Premier League severed its sponsorship deal with three Usmanov-owned companies, ESPN reported. This past weekend Roman Abramovich, another alleged Putin associate, handed over stewardship of the Chelsea soccer team to his charitable trust before the U.K. could impose any sanctions on him; Abramovich is now attempting to sell the soccer team ahead of any longterm sanctions against him.

March 3, 10:30 a.m.: This story has been updated to include comment from the Hamburg government.

In This Article: Russia, Russia Ukraine, Ukraine

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