Scheherazade, a $700 million superyacht linked to Russian President Putin, is being refitted in Italy.
Italy seized the yacht in 2022 following sweeping sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war.
The unnamed owner of the yacht is paying for the vessel’s staff, maintenance, and refit.
A $700 million superyacht reportedly linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin is sitting in an Italian port and being refitted on the unnamed owner’s dime, the Financial Times reported Sunday.
Italy seized the Scheherazade superyacht in May last year but has allowed its unnamed sanctioned owner to continue paying for the vessel’s staff, maintenance — and a refit — while it sits in the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara, the FT reported.
The 459-foot, four-year-old vessel features six floors, two helipads, a swimming pool, a beauty salon, and gold-plated bathrooms, per the FT and an Insider report.
It’s now being refurbished by the Milan-listed Italian Sea Group, which confirmed the refit to the FT. The company declined to provide further details — including ownership — to the media outlet.
People with knowledge of the matter told the FT that the owner of the Scheherazade yacht is Eduard Khudainatov, the sanctioned former CEO of Russian state oil company Rosneft.
However, the oligarch is merely the “straw owner” of the vessel, Bloomberg reported in May last year.
Two activists working with the imprisoned Putin opponent Alexei Navalny claimed last March that some of the ship’s crew members are from a Russian state agency responsible for protecting Putin. The Kremlin denied these allegations per the FT.
The Scheherazade is one of the many luxury assets that have been seized by the West following sweeping sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war that started in February 2022. Other Russian oligarch-linked yachts that have been seized include the $81 million Alfa Nero and the $48 million Phi.
The Kremlin and Italian Sea Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.
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