Italy seizes $700-million luxury yacht 'Scheherazade' allegedly linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
Rome Updated: May 07, 2022, 09:06 AM(IST)

Scheherazade, one of the world's biggest and most expensive yachts allegedly linked to Russian billionaires, is moored in the harbour of the small Italian town of Marina di Carrara, Italy (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )

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The yacht, which has two helicopter landing pads, seems to belong to Putin, claimed an organisation set up by Alexei Navalny. In March, it released a report, saying it had evidence to substantiate the claim. Police have struggled to identify the real owner of the Scheherazade, officials told Reuters

A luxury yacht worth around $700 million has been impounded on Friday in Italy. The vessel seems to have been linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as per media reports.  

The Italian government had ordered the police to seize the vessel, said reports.  

Since September, Scheherazade, which has six decks, has been undergoing repairs in the port of Marina di Carrara, Italy. But the crew seemed to be preparing to put the sleek yacht to sea, according to the recent activity at the dockside.  

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The yacht, which has two helicopter landing pads, seems to belong to Putin, claimed an organisation set up by Alexei Navalny. In March, it released a report, saying it had evidence to substantiate the claim.  

Police have struggled to identify the real owner of the Scheherazade, officials told Reuters.  

The vessel can host up to 18 guests and 40 crew, and is registered in the Cayman Islands. The vessel, which was built by the German firm Luerssen, was delivered to its mysterious owner in 2020.  

The police seem to believe that the owner of this vessel is Eduard Khudainatov, a Reuters report said citing a source familiar with the probe into the case.  

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Khudainatov, who is former chief of Russian energy giant Rosneft, is currently not a target of EU sanctions.  

Without naming the owner, the finance ministry, while announcing the seizure order in a statement, said, he had ties to "prominent elements of the Russian government".  

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(With inputs from agencies)

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