Italy seizes two yachts including one owned by the richest man in Russia

Yesterday it was France seizing a Russian yacht, today Italy is seizing two.

Italian police have seized a yacht owned by Alexey Mordashov, the richest man in Russia before being blacklisted this week by the European Union following Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

The 65-metre (215-ft) “Lady M” was impounded in the northern Italian port of Imperia, the source said.

A second yacht owned by Gennady Timchenko, another billionaire who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is also blocked in Imperia and will be sequestered shortly, the source added.

Forbes reported yesterday that Mordashov just transferred his entire stake in a gold mining company to his wife in an effort to protect it from sanctions:

In a recent public filing submitted to the U.K. government on Wednesday, Russian mining company Nordgold revealed that majority owner Alexey Mordashov, billionaire businessman and potentially the richest man in Russia, secretly transferred his entire stake in Nordgold, around $1.1 billion,  to his wife, Marina Mordashova, in an effort to divest himself of assets vulnerable to E.U. sanctions targeting Russian oligarchs…

Mordashov is Russia’s richest man, according to Forbes’ annual billionaires’ list, with a family net worth clocking in at slightly more than $29 billion. Mordashov made his wealth primarily as the largest shareholder and chairman of Severstal, Russia’s fourth largest steelmaker by production volume. Nordgold was established in 2007 as a subsidiary of Severstal.

As Russian superyachts go, the Lady M is relatively modest at 65 meters in length. The Amore Vero which French authorities seized yesterday was 86 meters. The Dilbar, seized by the Germans on Wednesday, is the largest yacht by tonnage in the world and is 156 meters long. Here’s some drone footage of the Lady M (note there’s more than one large yacht with this name) which reportedly cost around $27 million.

The name of the other yacht being seized today wasn’t mentioned but I did find this about Gennady Timchenko:

Mr Timchenko, a citizen of Russia, Finland and Armenia, graduated from with a degree in electrical engineering from an institute in St Petersburg and built his fortune in oil and gas. Forbes reported he is worth $23.5 billion, making him one of Russia’s richest men…

A passionate ice hockey fan, he heads the sport’s professional league in Russia and is president of his home town team in St Petersburg. He owns jets and a 40-metre yacht, the M/S Lena, named after his wife.

A 40 meter yacht is apparently too small to generate YouTube clips so no video of that one. I’ll close this out with another video by this guy who follows yacht news on YouTube. He notes there’s some debate over whether Germany has actually seized the Dilbar but it is in a dry dock in Germany and apparently no going anywhere. Also other Russian yachts have been racing to escape the EU and possible sanctions.