Authorities in Germany were praised on Wednesday after Forbes magazine reported they seized billionaire Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov's 512-foot mega-yacht Dilbar.
The move came two days after the European Union sanctioned Usmanov after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.
In January, former CIA officer Alex Finley posted a photo of the port in Barcelona, identifying super-yachts owned by four Russian oligarchs.
I took this panorama shot of the Bcn port today. Off the top of my head, I spot four Russian superyachts. 1. Solaris (Abramovich) 2. Galactica Super Nova (Vagit Alekperov) 3. Aurora (Andrey Molchanov) 4. Sea Rhapsody (Andrey Kostin) pic.twitter.com/of4xgLVxmx
— Alex Finley (@alexzfinley) January 14, 2022
Finley continued to post updates on the mega-yachts, including the $600 million My Solaris mega-yacht, owned by Roman Abramovich.
A little background on MY SOLARIS. This wee little dinghy is 140m (461 ft) in length. That's actually pretty small as mega yachts go. For comparison, Abramovich's OTHER mega yacht [insert eye roll gif], ECLIPSE, is 162.5m (533 ft). 3/pic.twitter.com/jQjefKs3He— Alex Finley (@Alex Finley) 1645553834
Soon people on Twitter began using the hashtag #YachtWatch.
Lady Anastasia is just under 48m long (a dinghy for most oligarchs) 2/pic.twitter.com/TWufCgFuXB— Alex Finley (@Alex Finley) 1645987295
On Tuesday, Forbes published the location of 32 suspected Russian mega-yachts, and President Joe Biden mentioned the yachts in his State of the Union address.
"We’re joining with European Allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets," Biden said to applause.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced "Task Force KleptoCapture" to enforce sanctions against Russia.
“The Justice Department will use all of its authorities to seize the assets of individuals and entities who violate these sanctions,” Garland said. “We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue this unjust war. Let me be clear: if you violate our laws, we will hold you accountable.”
The task force will have staff from the FBI; U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service; Department of Homeland Security–Homeland Security Investigations; IRS–Criminal Investigation; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Also on Wednesday, Germany seized the Dilbar.
This will be heartbreaking for the fish who are regulars at Dilbar's fish disco. 2/— Alex Finley (@Alex Finley) 1646255349
"At 15,917 tons, it's the world's largest motor yacht by gross tonnage, and is typically manned by a crew of 96 people. Dilbar boasts the largest swimming pool ever installed on a yacht as well as two helicopter pads, a sauna, a beauty salon, and a gym. Its plush interiors have more than 1,000 sofa cushions and it can host up to 24 people in 12 suites," Forbes reported. "One of the earliest investors in Facebook along with fellow billionaire Yuri Milner, Usmanov also owns extensive real estate assets in the West, ranging from two estates in the UK—Beechwood House in London and Sutton Place in Surrey, valued at a combined $280 million—to luxury homes in Munich, Germany; Lausanne, Switzerland; Monaco; and Sardinia."
I remember this obnoxious behemoth taking over the anchorage! The smaller boat in the foreground is ~120 feet.pic.twitter.com/mDqwib4HfC— Matt Griswold (@Matt Griswold) 1646258084
Meanwhile, in other #YachtWatch news, work continues on Solaris. NB: Abramovich has not been sanctioned (yet?), so maybe they can get the work done in time. Aurora, too, remains in dry dock.pic.twitter.com/m6g3njsipc— Alex Finley (@Alex Finley) 1646255648