A Russian businessman's $50 million superyacht was seized by the UK after mooring in London for an awards ceremony, government says
- The UK government said it seized a Russian-owned, $50 million superyacht on Tuesday.
- The yacht Phi is registered to a Caribbean firm and carried a Maltese flag "to hide its origins," UK crime agency said.
A Russian-owned, $50 million superyacht was seized by the United Kingdom on Tuesday, the government said.
It's the first superyacht to be detained in UK waters, according to the National Crime Agency, which worked with the government to detain the ship.
The 192-foot vessel, called Phi, was detained by authorities in Canary Wharf, a business district in east London, according to a government statement sent to Insider. Phi was in London for a superyacht awards ceremony and was planning to set sail at midday on Tuesday, the government said.
The UK government didn't reveal the name of the owner – apart from mentioning the person was a Russian businessman and the yacht was impounded as part of sanctions against Russia – and valued the yacht at £38 million ($49.9 million).
The NCA said in a statement on Tuesday that Phi's owner was "deliberately well hidden."
It added that the yacht was registered to a company based in Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, and it carried a Maltese flag "to hide its origins."
—Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) March 29, 2022
Phi was initially identified as potentially being Russian on March 13, the government said, adding that a subsequent investigation resulted in the yacht being seized.
The superyacht, built by Dutch boat builder Royal Huisman, can accommodate a total of 23 guests and crew, according to SuperYacht Times. It has a fresh-water swimming pool and a wine cellar, the UK government said.
"Today we've detained a £38m superyacht and turned an icon of Russia's power and wealth into a clear and stark warning to Putin and his cronies," UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in the statement.
"Detaining the Phi, proves, yet again, that we can and will take the strongest possible action against those seeking to benefit from Russian connections," Shapps added.
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