Spanish Police Seize Russian Oligarch Superyacht in Barcelona

Spain has temporarily seized a Russian oligarch’s $140m yacht in Barcelona, as sources said the vessel belonged to the head of Russian state conglomerate Rostec, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Today we seized, the technical term is provisionally immobilized, a yacht belonging to one of the principal oligarchs,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on La Sexta television on Monday. 

“We are talking about a yacht that we estimate is worth $140m. There will be more,” Sánchez added, without elaborating. 

Marine Traffic, a monitoring site, has said that yachts linked to two other oligarchs not yet sanctioned were also docked in Barcelona.

Former KGB officer who heads state conglomerate Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, owned the 85-meter (279ft) superyacht “Valerie.”

According to a 2021 article published in the Pandora Papers information leak, the superyacht was registered to Chemezov’s stepdaughter, Anastasia Ignatova, through the British Virgin Islands company.

Chemezov was sanctioned by the United States in 2014 and Britain in 2020 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and was named in sanctions lists this month by the United States and Australia. 

The US sanctions also targeted Chemezov’s stepdaughter, his wife, and son.

Spanish authorities said the yacht would remain under detention while they confirm its ownership.

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