May 29, 2023

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Two superyachts owned by oligarch Roman Abramovich have taken refuge in Morocco

Two luxury yachts identified as belonging to a Russian billionaire suddenly left the Caribbean island of Antigua on July 22. Under sanctions imposed by London, Washington and Brussels, Roman Abramovich will try to grant them asylum in Agadir and Casablanca.

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, like his peers, owns an impressive number of properties. However, it is on the embargo list of the UK, US and EU, meaning assets associated with it in any of these territories could be seized.

The reason: his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last March, the ropes tightened around Abramovich, known as the owner of the famous football club Chelsea. The billionaire previously announced he was selling his club, with the EU in sight since the invasion of Ukraine. The British government estimates the businessman’s net worth at 10.7 billion euros. A wealth he has accumulated in an impossible way. A review of the project Panorama The BBC actually published evidence of corruption cases attributed to his wealth.

British media claimed that the Russian had paid about $250 million to the oil company Chipneft during a rigged auction in 1995. His lawyers have formally refused.

To confirm this, the BBC relied on a five-page document extracted from the archives of the Russian police. He also noted that a Chinese competitor was kidnapped in Moscow in 2002 during a takeover of another oil company. He would have been released once the Chinese firm’s withdrawal from the auction was registered. His lawyers have repeatedly denied the allegations.

Halo And boy Captured in Antigua and Barbuda

As a result, its assets could be seized, which happened to two of its superyachts at the end of March: Halo Spectacular dimensions and its support vessel boy

Roman Abramovich’s Hollow Yacht. DR

Halo And boy The port of Falmouth in Antigua and Barbuda came into effect just as economic sanctions came into effect following the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

Roman AbramovichRoman Abramovich’s Hollow Yacht. DR

They were arrested after the British media reported that they were registered under the flag of Bermuda the observer It determined that they belonged to Wenham Overseas Limited in the British Virgin Islands, the sole beneficiary of which was Abramovich.

Roman AbramovichOne of the bedrooms in Roman Abramovich’s Yacht Hollow. DR

At the request of the British government, the independent Commonwealth of Independent States detained the two ships, but did not seize them. A subsequent investigation confirmed that the beneficiary was indeed Abramovich, but Antigua had no criminal laws or grounds to seize them.

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Direction Agadir and Casablanca

Both ships left the country on Friday July 22 and are currently en route to Agadir, Morocco. Halo and Casablanca boy Two different ports for the boats to sail together is unusual to say the least.

Halo And boy Both are now sailing across the Atlantic under the Cook Islands flag, having been rebooked shortly before their departure.

Roman AbramovichRoman Abramovich’s two superyachts set sail for Agadir and Casablanca on July 22, 2022. DR

Usually, ships of this type call at Gibraltar after crossing the Atlantic, but a refueling stop, particularly fuel, is synonymous with boarding in British overseas territory. Therefore, if they do not change course during the trip, it is obvious that they consider Moroccan ports as sanctuaries in the face of international sanctions, Rabat does not participate in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and does not join the community of nations. Moscow imposed sanctions on the regime machinery.

Officials in Antigua are tight-lipped about why they left or whether they knew the ships were about to leave. A possible reason could be that they have no right to keep superyachts, as they have no reason to seize them.

Halo She is a 180 ft (55 m) luxury superyacht delivered by Amels Shipyard in 2018 and is mostly offered for charter. With an exterior design by Tim Heywood Design, she has an interior by Studio Laura Sessa and offers accommodation for 12 guests and 13 crew. Halo 15.5 knots (17.8 mph/28.7 km/h) and a speed of 13 knots (15 mph /24 km/h) with a range of 4,500 nautical miles (5,178 miles/8,834 km).

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boy Meanwhile, it is a support vessel supplied by Damon Yachting and, being an explorer, has a very attractive design. With an overall length of 220 feet (67.2 meters), it offers 1,145 GT of volume divided between garage operations and perfect (including VIP quarters) living quarters for a total of 21 people. Powered by 4 Caterpillar engines, it can reach 25 knots (28.7 mph/46.3 km/h) at full throttle and cruise at 18 knots (20.7 mph/33.3 km/h).

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