Oligarch’s $200m superyacht to be sold at auction to benefit Ukraine | Ukraine

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A $200 million (£163 million) superyacht owned by Viktor Medvedchuk, an oligarch and friend of Vladimir Putin who is under sanctions, will be sold at auction following its seizure in Croatia earlier this year.

The Ukrainian government said a Croatian court had ruled that Medvedchuk’s 92.5-meter Royal Romance yacht should be handed over to Ukraine’s Asset Recovery and Management Agency (Arma), which said it would “preserve its economic value by to be sold at auction”.

It would be the first such sale on behalf of the people of Ukraine since Western governments placed restrictions on the assets of hundreds of oligarchs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Medvedchuk, 68, a Ukrainian pro-Kremlin politician, was arrested in Ukraine in April and handed over to Russia in a prisoner exchange in September. He is often referred to as the “dark prince” of Ukrainian politics, and Putin is the godfather of his daughter Daria.

De Arma, a special branch of the Ukrainian government charged with “tracking, tracing and managing assets derived from corruption,” said its agents flew to Croatia and “inspected the arrested yacht that belonged to the relatives of a deputy and one of the leaders of a political force banned in Ukraine”.

It said: “Arma sought the specified asset under the criminal proceedings and then received the elite property after imposing the arrest to preserve its economic value by selling it at auctions.”

According to the Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List, Croatian police raided the yacht on behalf of the FBI last month. It reported that a court in Split granted a request for a search warrant from the US Department of Justice on Nov. 15, confirming that the search had taken place on Nov. 19. Judge Dinko Mešin allegedly told the newspaper that the search warrant named Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko in connection with alleged money laundering.

Royal Romance, built by Dutch superyacht contractor Feadship in 2005, has cabins for 14 guests and room for 21 crew members, as well as a 4-metre-wide swimming pool with “flowing waterfall cascading over the stern”.

In September, a 72.5-meter superyacht seized under sanctions from a Russian oligarch, Dmitry Pumpyansky, was sold at auction to an undisclosed buyer for $37.5 million, the first sale of its kind since Russia and Ukraine. invaded.

The yacht, which had a swimming pool, 3D cinema, gym, hot tub and full-service spa, was sold not for the benefit of the Ukrainian people, but for US investment bank JP Morgan, which claimed Pumpyansky owed € 20.5 million.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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