The French government said on Thursday it had confiscated a deep yacht owned by a company linked to Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian energy giant Rosneft and a confidant of President Vladimir Putin.
The finance ministry said the Amore Ferro was detained at the La Ciotat shipyard near Marseille.
“French customs have carried out the confiscation of the yacht Amore Vero in La Ciotat as part of the implementation of European Union sanctions against Russia,” a statement said.
The yacht was owned by Sechin, the main shareholder.
Olivier Dusupt, French Minister of Labor and Accounts, tweeted a picture of the yacht and wrote, “As part of the implementation of EU sanctions against Russia and in support of Ukraine, we have confiscated the first yacht.”
Tweet by French Minister of Public Labor and Accounts Olivier Dusupet
Dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre des de l’Union européenne at l’encontre de la Russie et en soutien at l’Ukraine 🇺🇦 nous avons procédé à la saisie d’un Premier yacht.
Olivier Dussopt (olivierdussopt) March 3, 2022 Built by Dutch yacht builder Oceanco, the 85.6 m (280 ft) boat includes a swimming pool that converts into a helipad, as well as multiple decks including one with whirlpool.
The boat was delivered in 2013, says the manufacturer on its website.
German authorities also confiscated a luxury yacht, Forbes magazine reported that German authorities also confiscated the luxury yacht Dilbar owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, but this has not been confirmed.
The French Riviera has long been a playground for the Russians, with many spending their summers there on yachts or in luxury villas.
Paris said last week it was preparing a list of assets in France owned by the oligarchs, including yachts, luxury cars and property.
“If I were an oligarch in Russia or France, I would be worried,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday.
The European Union added more businessmen linked to the Kremlin and Putin’s spokesman to its sanctions blacklist that day.
Sechin was the most famous name, along with Nikolai Tokarev, head of the giant pipeline Transneft.
Forbes magazine added three men named to the list of the 10 richest men in Russia: metal magnate Alexei Mordashov and Usmanov and businessman and friend of Putin’s Gennady Timchenko.
Sechin is seen as one of Russia’s most powerful men with influence beyond his leadership of energy giant Rosneft.
Like Putin, he is from Saint Petersburg and worked with the president from the early days of his career in the city’s mayor’s office during the 1990s.
(France 24 with AFP)