Russian Oligarch’s $49 Million Superyacht Seized In UK

JPMorgan Chase, an investment bank, won a court order that permitted the seizure of a Russian oligarch’s luxury yacht in Gibraltar last week. The government of Gibraltar said on 21 March that it had been able to impound a $75 million superyacht owned by Russia’s billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky, who was sanctioned by the EU and UK over Russia’s war on Ukraine.

JPMorgan had successfully won the court order permitting the Gibraltar port authorities to seize the yacht named Axioma, per Bloomberg. A Gibraltar government’s spokesperson informed that JPMorgan is pursuant to its mortgage rights. The Government of Gibraltar is also exercising its rights to implement freezing sanctions.

JPMorgan, however, refused to share its comment with Bloomberg. The bank did not respond immediately to Insider’s request for comment. On the day the seizure happened, Gibraltar’s government mentioned in its statement to Insider that the yacht was the subject of an arrest by a world-famous international bank based in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar.

Mega yacht Octopus
Image for representation purpose only

Pumpyansky, the owner of Russia’s greatest steel-pipe maker, TMK, is known to have an estimated worth of $1.1 billion, per Forbes. The Gibraltar government informed that he was owned Axioma, which boasts two large swimming pools, a cinema, and a gym onboard per SuperYachtFan.

European nations have been able to seize several yachts along with other assets belonging to Russia’s oligarchs, who’ve been targeted through sanctions aimed at pressurize Putin to hold back from the invasion of Ukraine.

In other news, officials in the UK say that they have detained a Russian superyacht docked near London, a first in the new sanctions levied on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The $49.67 million yacht, dubbed Phi, belongs to an unnamed businessman. The vessel was reportedly docked in the Canary Wharf in London.

A spokesperson for PM Boris Johnson said that this is the first time ever a superyacht from Russia was detained in UK waters. The government later on clarified that the unidentified owner of the vessel is not subject to the UK sanctions right now.

Officials have to say that the yacht’s ownership was “well hidden” deliberately. The frm it is registered with is located in the Caribbean islands of Nevis and St. Kitts, but the vessel flies Maltese flags to purposely hide the origin.

Reuters mentioned that Phi was in Canary Wharf to attend a superyacht awards event and would have departed on March 29. But the superyacht will not be leaving soon, per Shapps.

Officials informed that they were first able to flag the yacht as being owned by a Russian on 13 March and the National Crime Agency, Department for Transport, and Border Force Maritime Investigation Bureau collaborated to identify and then, detain it.

The transportation department reportedly mentioned that it is also looking at several other vessels and hopes that its stance sends out an example to other international partners.


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