On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that a luxury yachtmaking company in Germany is sending out a questionnaire to its clients on national origin, to determine which of them may be Russian oligarchs as it looks to disentangle its assets from anyone who might be furthering Vladimir Putin's brutal invasion of Ukraine.
"Luerssen, which built two of the three largest superyachts detained by authorities over their links to sanctioned Russian billionaires, sent around questionnaires this week saying it needed updated information on the ultimate ownership of yachts berthed or under construction at its sites," Bloomberg reported.
"The Bremen-based yachtbuilder, which traces its origins back almost 150 years and says it built the world’s first motorboat, said it needed to be able to respond to inquiries from authorities following the 'geopolitical situation in Ukraine,' One of its largest yachts, Dilbar, a 156-meter (512-foot) motor yacht owned by Alisher Usmanov, is currently holed up in a Hamburg yard," the report continued.
Luerssen is not the only yacht designer looking to cut off Russian oligarchs trying to evade sanctions, said the report — Imperial Yachts based in Monaco and Burgess Yachts in London have also both took steps to close down or distance themselves from Russian business.
Among the many yachts seized in recent weeks are a 512-foot mega-vessel owned by Alisher Usmanov which was taken by German authorities, and a yacht known as "The Tango" owned by Viktor Vekselberg, seized by the Spanish government while docked at Palma de Mallorca on the request of the U.S. Justice Department.
Even yachts that aren't being seized are facing other difficulties. A $700 million vessel rumored to be owned by Putin himself lost its entire crew to a protest walkoff in Tuscany, although a British crew was promptly brought in to take their place.