Spanish authorities have seized a $140 million yacht “from one of Russia’s top oligarchs” in the port of Barcelona, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Monday evening in a television interview. They did not name the oligarch.
“We have seized – the technical term is temporarily immobilized – a yacht from one of the main oligarchs,” Sanchez told Spanish television La Sexta. “We are talking about a yacht which we estimate to be worth $140 million. … It is 85 meters (279 feet) long.
The yacht is called “Valerie” and Spanish authorities want to determine whether it is owned or controlled by a person or company sanctioned by the European Union due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Spanish ministry said. Transport in a press release.
This is the first “provisional detention” of a yacht linked to EU sanctions against Russia, carried out by the Directorate of Merchant Marine, an agency of the Ministry of Transport, according to the press release.
The superyacht was ready to leave the port of Barcelona, where it was moored at the facilities of MB92, a company that repairs and maintains superyachts, according to the ministry statement.
Sanchez said Spain will contact the intelligence services and economic departments of allied countries in the European Union and elsewhere to try to identify the owner of the yacht.
“It’s complex because these are people who have intermediary companies,” Sanchez said, referring to the oligarchs. But he added “there will be more”.
The Department for Transport said: “If, as suspected, the vessel is owned by a person or company on the (Russian) sanctions list by the European Council, then the superyacht will be immobilized until at further order.”
On Tuesday, authorities also provisionally seized a second yacht to determine whether its owner is subject to the latest European Union sanctions against Russia, according to the ministry.
Port authorities in Palma de Mallorca detained the second yacht, ‘Lady Anastasia’, on Tuesday less than 24 hours after authorities provisionally seized the first superyacht.
Both sail under the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The “Lady Anastasia” is 48 meters (157 feet) long.