SuperyachtNews.com – Business – Scheherazade arrested in Italy
After some initial speculation over the ownership of the vessel, 140m Scheherazade has been officially discontinued…
Rumors surrounding the 140m property Scheherazade made headlines in March 2022 at the start of the war in Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on some Russians. At the time, it was suggested that Putin might be the potential owner of Scheherazade, although this was disputed by all parties connected with the ship. Although there has been no confirmation that Putin is, in fact, the owner of Scheherazade, Italian police have confirmed that there is a “significant economic connection between the owner of Scheherazade and senior elements of the Russian government”. .
At the initial point of interest for Scheherazade from a public and media perspective, the vessel was undergoing refit and maintenance work at Marina di Carrara and as such there was no need for act on the arrest of the superyacht without sufficient evidence, as the boat was not going anywhere quickly. However, local reports suggested that the crew were apparently preparing to remove the vessel from the installation and therefore it was deemed prudent to act on the information which was subsequently gathered.
“After verification by the tax authorities, it turned out that there is an important economic link between the owner of Scheherazade and senior Russian government officials,” read a statement from the Italian financial police. “Based on these elements, it has been recommended that the yacht be placed on the current European Union sanctions list and the Minister of Finance in Rome has agreed.”
Whether or not the ship belongs to Putin, it seems clear that the claim by the public, and indeed that of the Italian financial police, that it has ties to senior elements in the Kremlin is accurate. Indeed, in an article published by the Metroit was revealed that of Scheherazade The Russian crew left in March “in the middle of the night”, to be replaced by a British crew.
Furthermore, an investigation by an organization that backs Putin’s opposition leader and outspoken Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny suggests that members of the FSO, which is usually used to protect Putin, and the FSB formed a large part of the crew (see above). Naturally, such a report will be far from objective, but the weight of evidence against Scheherazade seems to continue to pile up.
As well as suggesting that FSO officers worked on the ship before changing to a British crew, the report points out that Scheherazade is the largest superyacht in the world that has no known ultimate beneficial owner.
When the Panama Papers, some 11.5 million leaked files from Panamanian law firm Mossak Fonseca, were leaked in 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists uncovered a trail of offshore deals and huge loans, worth about $2 billion, which led to Putin.
The money trail led directly to Putin’s inner circle and close family, however, unsurprisingly, Putin’s name was not found on any of the documents. Regardless of the fact that Putin’s name has never appeared on any documentation, some commentators have estimated Putin’s net worth to be around $200 billion, meaning no superyacht plans would be above it. of its means. So it stands to reason that Putin’s approach to superyacht ownership would be no different.
As SuperyachtNews reported when Scheherazade started making headlines, if the ship turns out not to belong to Putin, then whoever owns it has done a great job of making it look like Putin.
Whether or not Putin owns Scheherazadethe ship has now been boarded in Italy and is not going anywhere in a hurry.
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