Superyacht docked in Italy reportedly crewed by Putin’s bodyguards

  • The team of imprisoned opponent of Putin, Alexei Navalny, has reported that a mysterious superyacht is occupied by several of Putin’s bodyguards.
  • The Scheherazade is one of the largest superyachts in the world, but its owner is not known to the public.
  • It is rumored to belong to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A mysterious superyacht whose owner has not been publicly named is believed to be made up of several members of a Russian state agency tasked with protecting Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to activists working with imprisoned Putin opponent Alexei Navalny.

On Monday, investigative journalist Maria Pevchikh and anti-corruption activist Georgy Alburov posted a video on YouTube about the mysterious superyacht, named Scheherazade, moored on the coast of Carrara, Italy.

The Scheherazade, one of the largest ships of its type in the world, is a superyacht without a public owner, The New York Times reported.

According to the video, the 140-meter-long vessel is worth 75 billion rubles ($699.3 million) and includes six floors, two helipads, a swimming pool, a spa complex and a beauty salon.

According to a December 2020 crew list obtained by Pevchikh and Alburov, all permanent crew members except the ship’s captain are Russian. Some of the ship’s personnel also work for the FSO, a militarized state agency tasked with being the president’s personal protection, according to the video.

Earlier this month, US officials told The New York Times two weeks ago they were investigating whether the ship belonged to Putin but had not yet reached any firm conclusions. Italian authorities are also looking into the ownership of the vessel, according to The Times.

Through “open source research”, Pevchikh said he was able to identify at least 10 FSO officers who are listed as crew members of the Scheherazade. Insider was unable to independently confirm which crew personnel worked for the FSO.

“They are Russian state employees, military, and they regularly travel to Italy in groups to work on the mystery yacht,” she tweeted.

The UK, US and EU have cracked down on Russia and seized the luxury assets of some Russian oligarchs – including superyachts – via economic sanctions, following the ongoing Russian military assault on Ukraine.

Navalny’s team is urging Italian authorities to seize the yacht if they confirm the boat’s owner is Putin.

The captain of the superyacht, Guy Bennett-Pearce, told The Times that Italian officials had boarded the vessel earlier this month as part of an investigation by Italian financial police and that he had no “no other choice” than to hand over documents revealing the identity of the owner.

“They’re watching carefully. They’re looking at every aspect. It’s not the local brass coming down, it’s men in dark suits,” he said, adding that the information would be treated with “confidentiality.”

“I have no doubt in my mind that this will clear the ship of all negative rumors and speculation,” he told The Times.

Bennett-Pearce, who is a British national and the only non-Russian working on the vessel, did not rule out that the owner of the superyacht could be Russian, but could not say more due to an “agreement of non-disclosure” and said that its owner did not have a sanctions list.

“I’ve never seen it,” he said. “I have never met him.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.