Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A Russian oligarch’s EUR-400-million superyacht has been frozen by officials in the Port of Hamburg, Germany, after a tussle over its ownership.
The Luna – once owned by former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich – has been banned from leaving the harbour under sanctions targeting supporters of the Russian regime.
Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office has unravelled a network of documents proving that Azerbaijani businessman Farkhad Akhmedov is behind the Liechtenstein Trust, which is listed as the owner of the luxury vessel.
Akhmedov has been on the EU sanctions list since the beginning of April. Forbes recently estimated his fortune at around USD 1.4 billion (GBP 1.15 billion).
The gas tycoon is a former representative in the Federation Council of the Russian Federation – the upper house of the Russian parliament – and lived and worked in London from 1986 to 1994.
The yacht – which boasts nine decks, a huge swimming pool and a small submarine -must now remain in the port until further notice.
The Luna was first bought by Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich in 2010.
Akhmedov has reportedly denied being its current owner and has also denied being close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Until recently, Germany was lagging behind other countries in chasing oligarchs’ fortunes.
At the beginning of April, the sum of funds frozen in the country amounted to just EUR 125 million (GBP 108 million).
But the country has since made swift progress, with the amount now believed to total around EUR 1 billion (GBP 861 million).
The Luna is now the second oligarch vessel to be frozen in the Port of Hamburg by the Federal Criminal Police Office.
The first was the superyacht Dilbar, which belongs to the sanctioned sister of Uzbek-born Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov.