Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov’s $600M yacht seized in Germany: reports

FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 2

Here are your FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 2.

Authorities in Germany this week seized a lavish $600 million yacht belonging to a Russian oligarch, according to reports.

The Dilbar, a 512-foot vessel belonging to billionaire Alisher Usmanov, was taken over by authorities while it was being refitted in a German shipyard, Forbes reported.

The business magazine learned about the move Wednesday, just two days after Usmanov was sanctioned by the European Union as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the report said.

The EU has accused Usmanov of being a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a supporter of Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, the Washington Examiner reported.

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Usmanov on Tuesday confirmed that financial actions had been taken against him.

The luxury yacht Dilbar, which was delivered to a Russian billionaire in 2016, is moored at the Blohm+Voss shipyard on Oct. 30, 2021, in Hamburg, Germany.  (Getty Images / Getty Images)

"On 28 February 2022 I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union I believe that such decision is unfair, and the reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honor, dignity, and business reputation," he wrote Tuesday.

The statement was posted on the website of the International Fencing Federation, where the former professional fencer served as president since 2008 until stepping down Monday, the Examiner reported.

The Dilbar had been undergoing work at a shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, since October, according to Forbes. Employees of Blohm+Voss, the shipbuilding firm overseeing the project, were not at work Wednesday, the report said.

German shipbuilder Lurssen, which built the Dilbar, claims it’s the world’s largest motor yacht by gross tonnage, weighing nearly 16,000 tons, according to Forbes.

When operating, the ship has a crew of 96 people. It features an 82-foot swimming pool, two helicopter pads, sauna, gym and beauty salon and has 12 suites for accommodating 24 guests.

Usmanov is a former stakeholder in the English soccer club Arsenal FC, having sold his 30% share of the club for nearly $700 million in 2018, the report said. 

Usmanov retained a connection to the English Premier League through sponsorship deals involving his companies but those deals were discontinued, the Examiner reported.

Super yacht Dilbar, owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, departed the Port of Southampton in the United Kingdom, in June 2021. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

Separately, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich said Wednesday that he will sell English club Chelsea FC and donate proceeds to Ukraine war victims.

Usmanov's fortune comes largely from investments in the production of iron ore, steel and consumer electronics, as well as smaller stakes in telecom, mining and media companies, Forbes reported.

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He also has numerous real estate assets in Europe, according to the report.

President Biden and other Western leaders have made Russian oligarchs a target of their efforts to put economic pressure on Putin as he continues the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This week in Washington, House Republicans promoted a bill that would let U.S. citizens seize yachts, plans and other property belonging to Russian citizens in the U.S.

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