Sanctioned Russian billionaire and Everton owner, Alisher Usmanov’s megayacht has been seized amid a crackdown on oligarchs who are friends with Vladimir Putin.
The 512-foot Dilbar, described as Usmanov’s prized possession, was frozen by German authorities on Monday February 28.
The vessel, with an estimated value of £600million, remains at shipyards in the northern city of Hamburg where it has been for a refitting job since late October.
The move is part of an asset freeze on Usmanov after he was sanctioned by the European Union in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Dilbar was custom-built for Usmanov by German shipbuilder Lürssen and took 52 months to finish. It is one of the world’s largest yachts by volume and can hold over 100 passengers and crew in 58 cabins.
The yacht is part of Usmanov’s multibillion-pound fortune, which spans stakes in iron ore and steel giant Metalloinvest and consumer electronics firm Xiaomi, as well as holdings in telecom, mining, and media.
Usmanov, an oligarch with links to Vladimir Putin, was on Monday added to a list of sanctioned individuals by the European Union.
He hit back at the EU in a statement on the website of the International Fencing Federation, of which he is president, writing: ‘On 28 February 2022 I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union.
‘I believe that such a decision is unfair, and the reason is employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honour, dignity, and business reputation.
‘I would use all legal means to protect my owner and reputation.’