​Oleg Deripaska’s yacht
Oleg Deripaska’s yacht known as Clio (Photo: SuperYachtFan)

According to a report from Business Insider, Russian oligarchs seeking to avoid having their multi-million dollar yachts seized may have trouble finding a safe port to stash them due to Vladimir Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

As the report notes, there are complications in stripping the wealthy Russians of one of the favorite playtoys, but as the U.S lawmakers contemplate the bi-partisan "Yachts for Ukraine Act" that could mean sailing off and seeking a country with a suitable harbor -- but no extradition treaty.

"The legislation would authorize the federal government to take hold of assets valued above $5 million and repurpose the wealth toward weapons for the Ukrainian military and humanitarian aid among other purposes," the report states while noting President Joe Biden is on board.

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"Yacht seizures are nothing new, and they are regularly made to recover debts. As Benjamin Maltby — a partner at the UK-based Keystone Law who specializes in superyacht and luxury-asset law — told Insider, a country typically detains or arrests a yacht by ordering the captain not to leave the port. In rare instances, the yacht is chained to the docks," Business Insider is reporting. "It could also be tricky for the government to actually get its hands on the yachts. If the US passes its sanctions, he said, Russian-owned yachts must be in the country's territorial waters in order for the US to take possession of them."

Even departing could be problematic for the wealthy Russians trying to keep their yachts out of reach and not sitting and waiting in international waters.

"Many Russian yacht-owning oligarchs have already set sail around the world in an attempt to outrun the many countries imposing sanctions. Consider the $100 million Titan, belonging to the industrial magnate Alexander Abramov (who has so far avoided the US sanctions list), which arrived in the Maldives on Monday. It's not the only Russian-owned yacht that found refuge in the small island nation, which doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US," the report states before adding, "But Maltby thinks small island nations might not want to be seen colluding with Russian oligarchs to defeat sanctions and could choose to take action after the US's moves."

According to attorney Maltby, "Safe spaces are going to be few and far between."

You can read more here.