Sanctioned Russian oligarch Eugene Shvidler’s two private jets were recently seized. That’s when he must have drawn a line. His Le Grand Bleu superyacht is now missing. The last whereabouts of the boat were around Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov wasn’t so lucky. After a long search, his $300 million superyacht was seized in the remote Fiji Islands.
What Russian assets are western governments seizing?
Western governments have been snapping up private jets, yachts, property, and bank accounts of oligarchs after Russia invaded Ukraine. The Biden administration created the task force “KleptoCapture” in March. Its charge is to hunt down oligarch assets.
“Last month, I warned that the department had its eyes on every yacht purchased with dirty money,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement. “This yacht seizure should tell every corrupt Russian oligarch that they cannot hide, not even in the remotest part of the world. We will use every means of enforcing the sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine.”
This Russian oligarch’s boat is missing
That would include Shvidler’s superyacht, though its current whereabouts are unknown. Its last whereabouts were in Puerto Rico, according to NBC. At 370 feet, it should be easy to spot. In spite of its age, until recently it was considered one of the longest yachts ever made.
The length accommodates two (not one!) helipads, two mega-tenders, an owner’s bed which also features a sliding ceiling above, and a glass-bottom observation deck. Where did the money from all of this come from? In the 1990s the Russian oil industry became privatized. Oligarchs made billions of dollars as a result.
Kerimov was the recipient of this largesse. He was in the right place at the right time and had lots of other oil billionaires as friends. But now that association is getting him into trouble with various world powers over the sanctions.
This Russian boat was snagged recently
As for the seized superyacht christened Amadea, it was the smaller 350-foot variety. Kerimov, according to the U.S. Treasury, helped Russia through corruption, and also the annexation of Crimea. That helped him take an official position with the Russian government.
This yacht sleeps 16 people in eight cabins. The Amadea was last registered in the Caymans and is also thought to be worth $300 million.
The Dilbar superyacht is another boat siezed
German officials seized another oligarch yacht last month. Thought to belong to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, after a thorough investigation of its registration, Usmanov’s sister Gulbakhor Ismailova actually owned it.
This one surpasses the other two with a length of 500 feet. It also has two helipads. The U.S. Treasury Department estimates its worth to be almost $750 million.
So what can we learn from all of this? Being a Russian oligarch is a good gig until your puppet master invades a country for no reason. Then, it’s not.