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$420m yacht owned by pro-Kremlin oligarch that has its own mini submarine frozen in German port

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The Luna superyacht while docked at Port Rashid in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in March 2019. Christopher Pike/Reuters
The Luna superyacht while docked at Port Rashid in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in March 2019. Christopher Pike/Reuters
  • The Luna superyacht was frozen by authorities in a German port, local media reported.
  • Its owner, pro-Kremlin oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov, was sanctioned by the EU in April.
  • The Luna was formerly at the centre of a bitter divorce row, but has remained in Akhmedov's hands.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

A luxury superyacht has been frozen in a German port after the police verified that its owner is a sanctioned, pro-Kremlin oligarch, the country's media reported.

Germany's federal police established as of this week that the yacht's owner is Farkhad Akhmedov, an Azerbaijani businessman with close ties to the Kremlin, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported

Akhmedov was on April 8 swept into a round of European Union sanctions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Luna stayed in the port of Hamburg while German police unpicked the vessel's complex ownership structure, the paper reported. 

The yacht had been held in a Lichtenstein trust, a mechanism often used to conceal assets, as part of a bitter divorce row between Akhmedov and his ex-wife, MailOnline reported.

The yacht is worth an approximate 400 million euros, or around $420 million, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. Reuters put that figure at around $460 million.

It measures 114 metres long and boasts nine decks and even has a mini-submarine, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. According to The Guardian, it has 10 VIP cabins and a 66-foot-long swimming pool.  

The Port of Hamburg and the German federal police did not immediately repond to Insider's request for comment.

It's the second yacht in the port of Hamburg to be frozen in connection with the Ukraine war. The world's largest yacht, the $735 million Dilbar, was impounded there in mid-April after police found that it was owned by the sister of sanctioned Uzbek-Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, as Insider's Dominick Reuter reported

According to Reuters, the Luna was built for the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who sold it to Akhmedov in 2014.

The Luna has a troubled history. In 2019, it was at the centre of a deeply rancorous divorce settlement row between Akhmedov, his ex-wife Tatiana Akhmedova, and their son Temur, The Guardian reported

During the case Akhmedova claimed Temur helped his father conceal around $530 million in assets, including the yacht, the paper reported. Her settlement did not include the Luna, the paper reported.

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