Updated Apr 14, 2022 - Economy & Business

German authorities seize world’s biggest yacht

A giant scaffolding covered in tarpaulin covers the super-yacht "Dilbar" lying in dry dock compound on the river Elbe at the harbour in Hamburg, northern Germany, on March 7.

Scaffolding covered in tarpaulin conceals the Dilbar superyacht at a dock in Hamburg, Germany, last March. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

Germany's federal police said Wednesday they've seized a yacht linked to Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s wealthiest people, who faces Western sanctions over the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

Why it matters: The impounding of the world's biggest superyacht by volume highlights the "wider impact" of penalties imposed by the West on super-rich Russians accused of having having close links to Russia's President Vladimir Putin, per Bloomberg.

Yacht The Dilbar owned by Alisher Usmanov sails by the Monte Carlo Country Club on day five of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 20, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
The Dilbar yacht, then registered to Uzbek-Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, near Monte Carlo, Monaco, in 2017. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
  • The seizure of more than $2.5 billion in superyachts are a symbol of the plundered wealth enjoyed for so long by Putin's cronies, Axios' Zachary Basu and Jacob Knutson note.

Driving the news: European Union sanctions lists that include Usmanov's sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova, say he "indirectly transferred assets," including the 512-foot Dilbar superyacht, to her ahead of his being sanctioned.

  • German federal police tweeted that despite "offshore concealment" efforts, investigations showed that Ismailova was the yacht's legal owner.
  • "The luxury yacht Dilbar is therefore subject to sanctions law and was able to be legally impounded in Hamburg," per a Bloomberg translation of the post.

By the numbers: The Dilbar has a gross tonnage of just less than 16,000, two helipads and "a 25-meter [82-foot] swimming pool, the largest ever installed on a superyacht," CNN notes.

  • "This superyacht’s estimated worth is believed to be between $600 and $735 million," according to the U.S. Treasury Department. "The estimated cost to run Dilbar is $60 million per year."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the yacht, including its estimated value.

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