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Spanish Authorities Seize Yachts Of Russian Oligarch

Paris, France - Spanish authorities have seized a $140 million yacht 'of one of the principal oligarchs' of Russia, in the port of Barcelona, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said late Monday in a televised interview. They did not name the oligarch.

'We have seized - the technical term is provisionally immobilized - a yacht of one the principal oligarchs', Sanchez told Spain's La Sexta TV. 'We are talking about a yacht that we estimate has a value of $140 million...It is 85 meters (279 feet) long'.

The yacht is named 'Valerie' and Spanish authorities want to determine if it is owned or controlled by a person of company sanctioned by the European Union due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Spain's Transport Ministry said in a statement.

This is the first 'provisional immobilization' of a yacht related to the EU sanctions against Russia, carried out by the Merchant Marine Directorate, an agency of the Transport Ministry, the statement said.

The superyacht was ready to sail away from Barcelona's port, where it was docked at the installations of MB92, a company that does repairs and maintenance of superyachts, the ministry statement said.

Sanchez said that Spain will contact intelligence services and economic departments of allied countries in the European Union and elsewhere to try to pinpoint the yacht's ownership.

'It's complex because these are people who have intermediary companies', Sanchez said, referring to the oligarchs. But he added 'there will be more'.

The Transport Ministry said: 'If, as suspected, the ship is the property of a person or company included in the list of (Russia) sanctions by the European Council, then the superyacht will be immobilized until further order'.

Authorities on Tuesday also provisionally seized a second yacht to determine if its owner is subject to the latest European Union sanctions against Russia, according to the ministry.

Officials at the port of Palma de Mallorca on Tuesday retained the second yacht, 'Lady Anastasia', less than 24 hours after officials provisionally seized the first superyacht.

Both said under the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The 'Lady Anastasia' is 48 meters (157 feet) long.



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