LONDAN – It’s called Phiand a sleek 192-foot superyacht worth about $ 50 million, which has a wine cellar and pool, is a showcase of wealth that stands out even in the capital, known for its super-rich.
On Tuesday, a Russian ship moored at London’s Canary Wharf stood out for another reason: it had just been detained by British authorities.
Phi is the first such ship to be detained in British waters, according to the government, was a warning to President Vladimir Putin and his allies that Britain is persecuting those who benefit from its ties to the Kremlin. The UK’s National Crime Agency said the yacht belonged to a Russian businessman whom she did not identify.
“Today we detained a superyacht worth 38 million pounds and turned the icon of Russia’s power and wealth into a clear and sharp warning to Putin and his friends,” said in a statement British Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shaps.
The capture of Phi comes amid a global effort sparked by the invasion of Ukraine to put pressure on the Russian president, harming people close to him. In places like ItalyIn France and Spain – and now the UK – the authorities have targeted superyachts linked to Russian oligarchs.
Phi was built in the Netherlands Royal Huismana prestigious shipyard, and it is the company’s third largest yacht, according to the criminal agency, a national law enforcement agency that, among other things, fights organized and economic crime.
The agency said the ownership of the yacht was intentionally well concealed and that the vessel was registered to a company based on the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis and had Maltese flags.
The vessel was moored in Canary Wharf and was scheduled to set off this afternoon, the transport ministry said before being detained. It was first discovered that he potentially belonged to a Russian on March 13, and further investigations led to his detention.
The transport ministry said it was investigating a number of other courts. “The detention of Phi proves once again that we can and will take the most decisive measures against those who want to benefit from Russian ties,” Mr Schnapps said.