SHIPYARD IN ITALY FREEZES SCHEHERAZADE

Sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine have hit yet another superyacht, this time in the top 15 in the world. Scheherazade has been ordered to remain in a shipyard in Marina di Carrara by the Italian government. The freezing order was issued just as the yacht appeared to be getting ready to leave in the following days.

The freezing order was delivered on May 6 by members of Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, who boarded the 459-foot (140-meter) Scheherazade. The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance released a statement highlighting the beneficial owner’s “strong economic and business links…with major sections of the Russian government.” It is noteworthy that the beneficial owner is not identified. The Financial Security Committee, on the other hand, has suggested that the European Union add the owner to its sanctions list. It further says that “the boat has long been under the watchful eye of officials.”

Since September, Scheherazade, also known as Project Lightning during construction at Lürssen, has been docked in Marina di Carrara. She was placed in a dry dock and remained there until May 3, when she was refloated. According to unconfirmed claims, she also took on fuel.

Anonymous Officials and police in Italy warned the media that determining the owner’s identification was proving tough. However, one organization claims to have proof that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the owner of Scheherazade. The Anti-Corruption Foundation is a Russian watchdog group that publishes its research into alleged unlawful behavior by high-ranking Russian government officials. The Foundation produced a report in March revealing that numerous crew members work for Russia’s Federal Protective Service. Putin is protected by this organization. According to the Foundation, this proves that records claiming Eduard Khudainatov was the beneficial owner were fake. Khudainatov previously led Russian energy company Rosneft and is not listed on any foreign sanctions lists.

The Foundation’s investigative section chief, Maria Pevchikh, also said on Twitter this week that the evidence was given to Italian authorities in March.