Russian Billionaire ‘Hid Identity of Owner of $1BN Worth of Yachts’

  • US authorities believed a Russian tycoon acted as a “straw owner” of two yachts, per Bloomberg.
  • A US affidavit says a number of offshore corporations and a yacht dealer helped conceal the true house owners.
  • The superyachts, price greater than $1 billion, are linked to Vladimir Putin and Suleiman Kerimov.

US authorities consider {that a} Russian billionaire acted as a “straw owner” of two superyachts price greater than $1 billion, in line with Bloomberg.

A US affidavit says a nest of offshore corporations and a yacht dealer helped conceal a superyacht’s true proprietor, in line with court docket filings within the South Pacific island of Fiji, per the information outlet. 

Amid western sanctions, superyachts belonging to Russian oligarchs have been seized or detained in numerous components of the world. The US is attempting to grab a $325 million superyacht in Fiji, belonging to Suleiman Kerimov. The FBI discovered proof aboard the vessel incriminating the proprietor, who “caused US dollar transactions to be routed through US financial institutions for the support and maintenance of the Amadea.” 

A $700 million Scheherazade superyacht, which has been in a dry dock for 9 months, was not too long ago refloated after being refueled. It is rumored to be linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

According to Bloomberg’s report, the helpful proprietor of each yachts – which may differ from the precise proprietor – is the previous president of state-controlled Rosneft, Eduard Khudainatov. US officers consider him to be the “true beneficial owner.” However, Khudainatov is not on any sanctions listing.

An affidavit by a particular agent with the FBI, filed within the Fiji court docket proceedings, states: “The fact that Khudainatov is being held out as the owner of two of the largest superyachts on record, both linked to sanctioned individuals, suggests that Khudainatov is being used as a clean, unsanctioned straw owner to conceal the true beneficial owners of these vessels.”

It continues, per Bloomberg: “While Khudainatov is wealthy, there is no reason to believe he has the financial resources to purchase both the Amadea and the Scheherazade, which are collectively worth more than $1 billion.”

The 350-foot Amadea superyacht includes a helipad, a mosaic-tiled pool, and a lobster tank. Its proprietor, Kerimov, is regarded as Russia’s ninth-richest particular person with a fortune of round $14.5 billion, in line with Forbes. He has been sanctioned by the US, EU, and the UK over alleged cash laundering and his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

According to the affidavit seen by Bloomberg, the Kerimov household was concerned in approving the set up of a brand new pizza oven, a specific model of “spa bed,” and repositioned electrical sockets on the vessel. Each member of the family was given a codename by crew members, together with Kerimov himself known as G0. 

“Apparently G0 has two things that have to be immaculate. Stainless and teak,” the doc says per Bloomberg, including: “G0 has requested the quickest [jet skis] available so we will be getting new skis at some point.”

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