Arrest is not an obstacle: Putin's luxury yacht in Italy undergoes major renovation - FT
On the Scheherazade yacht arrested in Italy began large-scale repairs. Despite the arrest, the vessel is being refitted at the expense of its owner. According to a number of Russian, American and British media, the yacht actually belongs to Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the formal owner is former Rosneft head Eduard Khudainatov.
The Financial Times (FT) reported on the refit of the vessel, citing information from Italian Sea Group SpA, an operator in the maritime industry. The company noted that the yacht's owner is paying for "repairs and maintenance," but declined to provide further details, including the identity of that owner.
The Shaherazade yacht is in a marina in Tuscany in early August 2023. The 140-meter vessel is estimated to be worth $650 million.
"Italy has allowed her unnamed but sanctioned owner to pay not only for her personnel and maintenance but also for her refit..... The company ( Italian Sea Group SpA. - Ed.) confirmed that the refurbishment of the vessel continued after the asset was frozen by the authorities," the report said.
The information was also confirmed by Agenzia del Demanio - a state agency that manages seized assets in Italy. It said it had worked with the finance ministry to allow the shipowner to pay for "technical work," but declined to go into details because "information about the frozen assets is classified."
"Italy has never publicly named the owner of the yacht, although at the time of the arrest it said it had "evidence of significant economic and business ties with prominent elements of the Russian government subject to EU sanctions". According to sources in Italy and Belgium, the owner is Eduard Khudainatov, the former chief executive of Russian state oil company Rosneft, who was placed under EU sanctions in June 2022," the publication notes."
Nevertheless, the Bloomberg report states: U.S. officials have alleged in court documents that Khudainatov was a front man for two yachts, including the Scheherazade, on Putin's behalf. The Russian opposition also claimed that the Russian president was the real owner of the Scheherazade.
Some of the yacht's crew and service personnel, according to Russian investigators, were members of the Federal Security Service, which is responsible for Putin's security. The Kremlin denied the accusations at the time, but later the personnel on board the yacht were replaced for some reason.
Interestingly, in the official list of Russian assets seized in Italy, which has come into the FT's possession, the Scheherazade is the only one whose owner is not listed. The vessel is simply described as: "the Cayman Islands-flagged superyacht Shherezada, valued at around €650m".
The Shaherazade yacht is only four years old. The vessel has 22 guest cabins with gold-plated bathrooms, two helicopter decks and a spa. The refit is being carried out directly by Italian Sea Group SpA (registered in Milan).
As reported OBOZREVATEL, scandalous Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev hides a luxury yacht Universe in Istanbul. It was moved to a Turkish port from the Russian city of Sochi. And this may indicate that the Russian authorities no longer consider the port of Sochi safe.