A $700 million luxury yacht linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin was impounded by Italy Friday, authorities said.
The government order to seize the luxurious six-deck Scheherazade came as it appeared ready to set sail from the port of Marina di Carrara, according to recent dock activity.
The owner of the ship — which boasts two helicopter landing pads, 22 cabins, a full spa and an indoor pool that doubles as a dance floor — was believed to be Eduard Khudainatov, the former chief of Russian energy giant Rosneft, law enforcement sources said .
Khudainatov is not a current target of European Union war sanctions, but Rome had seized the vessel anyways while appealing Brussels to add him to EU embargoes.
Officials did not name Khudainatov in a statement, saying only the owner of the yacht was tied to “prominent elements of the Russian government.”
US officials told The New York Times the “prominent element” is Putin.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had urged Italian lawmakers to confiscate the pleasure ship in March as part of efforts across the continent to pressure Putin and his loyalists to end their unprovoked war on his country.
Italy seized nearly a billion dollars worth of yachts and villas owned by Russians following Zelensky’s address.
On Thursday, Fiji’s government seized a massive $325 million yacht owned by a Russian oligarch at the request of the US.
Three days before, the US impounded a $90 million ship tied to a Putin associate in Spain.
With post wires