Putin’s alleged $700M superyacht seized in Italy

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Italian officials seized a $700 million luxury yacht with ties to the Russian government, Rome’s ministry of finance announced Friday.
Italian authorities scrambled to investigate the nearly 460-foot superyacht known as the Scheherazade, which was dry-docked in the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara as concerns mounted the Kremlin-linked vessel would set out to Italian waters shortly.

The yacht was seized under coordinated measures with the European Union due to Russia’s involvement in “undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”

The finance ministry said the vessel, which flew the flag of the Cayman Islands, “had long been under the attention of the authorities.”

Despite the acknowledged investigation that found the yacht to have “prominent” links to Russians targeted under EU sanctions, Italian officials omitted the name of the owner of the Scheherazade.

Some reporting has suggested the Scheherazade belongs to Russian President Vladimir Putin, while other reports have pointed to Eduard Khudainatov, a Russian former executive of a state-owned oil company, .

Khudainatov does not appear to have yet been specifically sanctioned, but a decree passed by Italian Finance Minister Daniele Franco barred the vessel from sailing away.

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