Friday, February 3

Italy seizes Russian oligarch Melnichenko’s Sailing Yacht A

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ROME — Italian police have seized a superyacht from Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, the prime minister’s office said on Saturday, a few days after the businessman was placed on an EU sanctions list following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The 143-meter (470-foot) Sailing Yacht A, which has a price tag of 530 million euros ($578 million), has been sequestered at the northern port of Trieste, the government said.

Designed by Philippe Starck and built by Nobiskrug in Germany, the vessel is the world’s biggest sailing yacht, the government said.

Melnichenko owns major fertilizer producer EuroChem Group and coal company SUEK.

Last week Italian police seized villas and yachts worth 143 million euros ($156 million) from five high-profile Russians who have been placed on the sanctions list.

The police operations were part of a coordinated drive by Western states to penalize wealthy Russians linked to President Vladimir Putin.

($1 = 0.9167 euros) (Reporting by Emilio Parodi Writing by Giselda Vagnoni Editing by Frances Kerry)