One by one Russian Oligarch assets are being seized over the sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine. Especially in the last couple of weeks, a number of these giant boats have been snagged, hidden in places like Italy and Fiji. But now, a large cache of these hiding superyachts, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, has been found.
Why are these superyachts docking in Turkey?
Apparently, Turkey is the place to be, when authorities seek superyachts at sea (that can be sung to the Green Acres tune!). Anyway, Turkey has yet to sanction Russia over its invasion. This has given sneaky oligarchs an opening to stash their yachts where they can’t be seized.
And it isn’t just yachts. Russian oligarch private jets have also been popping up there too. But let’s look at the superyachts already hiding in plain sight.
Boat #1: Flying Fox superyacht
The Flying Fox is a $400 million yacht owned by Dmitry Kamenschchik. He’s the chairman of Domodedovo airport in Moscow. It cruised into a dock at Bodrum, Turkey, on Sunday, as tracked by Marine Traffic. It left the Dominican Republic around April 22, while U.S. authorities investigated the yacht for involvement in money laundering and arms trafficking.
Then there is the yacht of former KGB agent Vladimir Strzhalkovsky. It has been sitting comfortably at a dock in the resort town of Marmaris, Turkey. Strzhalkovsky’s $85 million Ragnar breezed into Turkey on May 6 after escaping from Norway. There, locals had refused to refuel it or sell the owner anything according to NRK.
Boat #3,4,5: Solaris, Titan, and Eclipse Superyachts
On April 22, the superyacht Titan left Dubai. The $100 million craft is owned by Alexander Abramov. Before being docked in the resort town of Güvercinlik, it was spotted cruising in waters off of Fethiye, Turkey.
Roman Abramovich has two superyachts he had to contend with. The $600 million Solaris is now safe in the port city of Bodrum. His other yacht, the $700 million Eclipse, was recently docked in Marmaris before it was seen cruising in waters near Göcek.
Abramovich isn’t taking any chances. The Solaris is currently anchored off the city of Yalikavak, Turkey, according to Marine Traffic data. But by now both of these superyachts may have slipped off to other Turkish ports.
Can authorities still seize these superyachts?
So these four Russian oligarchs have found the key to keeping their beloved yachts while the rest of the world is looking to seize them. Or at least they think? But Keystone Law’s Benjamin Maltby says, “Not so fast.”
He specializes in superyachts, and told Business Insider that just because they’re in and around Turkey, they’re “not automatically immune.” The U.S. recently seized a Russian oligarch yacht in Fiji.
“Ultimately, the fate of the new Turkish fleet depends on the beneficial owners’ relationship with the Turkish government,” he said. “The E.U. and the U.S. will just have to wait for the political winds to change. And that wait may be a very long one.” That’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean this story is over.