Alexei Navalny’s allies have told Italian authorities they should seize a 460ft vessel moored off the country’s coast because they can prove it belongs to the Russian leader.
An investigation by the Russian opposition leader’s anti-corruption unit included in a video luxury assets in Europe they say are owned by Putin and his family.
Chief among the alleged assets is a $700 million superyacht, whose owner is not listed on the stock exchange, measuring 140 meters in length, with luxury features including two helipads.
The six-deck yacht “Scheherezade” contains space equivalent to two apartment buildings, as well as a spa and beauty salon. She is currently moored in the port of Marina di Carrara off the west coast of Italy.
Sensational material shared on Navalny’s Youtube channel by presenters Georgy Alburov and Maria Pevchikh shows that the ship’s captain is British, but the rest of the crew are believed to be from the FSO and FSB – two Russian secret services.
The Navalny’s associates demand that the Italian authorities now confiscate the boat.
On social media, Ms Pevchikh said: “We’ve been investigating Putin’s corruption for over a decade, and there’s one thing we know for sure – Putin never keeps assets under his own name.”
“A dozen personal guards and servants of Putin permanently maintain one of the largest yachts in the world, moored in an Italian port. We believe this is strong enough evidence that Scheherezade belongs to Putin himself and must be seized immediately.
Mr Volkov added: ‘We found an additional $700 million that Putin stole from the Russians – the yacht, which Russian soldiers are now dying for.’
The two investigators claim, after checking personal details of personnel on the boat, that 23 are linked to the FSO.
Ms Pevchikh said she ‘can’t think of better proof that this yacht belongs to Putin’.
Italian authorities are reportedly investigating the ownership of the ship amid suspicions it may belong to Putin, but its captain Guy Bennett-Pearce has denied knowledge of any such connection.
The six-deck yacht ‘Scheherezade’ has space equivalent to two apartment buildings, plus a spa, swimming pool and beauty salon
Scheherezade is the name of the heroine and narrator of the collection of Middle Eastern folk tales One Thousand and One Nights
The $700 million superyacht measures 140 meters in length and boasts luxury features including two helipads
The luxury yacht is moored in the port of Marina di Carrara off Italy’s west coast, meaning it could be vulnerable to EU sanctions if it is confirmed to belong to Putin
Putin has been a vocal critic of Russians choosing to live elsewhere in the west
Putin has personal sanctions against him by the European Union, meaning the yacht – if confirmed to be his – could be seized by authorities.
A source said: ‘It is possible Navalny’s team was aided by Western intelligence to uncover this revelation.’
‘The yacht was hidden from [Putin’s] people, and suggests that he is indeed the richest man in the world as his detractors claim.
The yacht is listed as the 13th largest in the world.
Earlier today, the same team revealed Putin’s billion-pound Black Sea Palace.
Anti-corruption campaigner Navalny, 45, is due to receive his next sentence tomorrow, which could lock him up until he is almost 60.
Elsewhere in the same video, President Lyudmila’s ex-wife is said to be building a lavish villa in Biarritz, south-west France, a town famed as a haven for wealthy playboys.
And his daughter Katerina Tikhonova, 35, is said to own a castle on the French Atlantic coast, which was recently robbed by protesters.
The ownership of the Scheherazade remains one of the greatest mysteries in the yachting world
It features two helipads, but almost nothing is known about interior features, and there are no known photos of the boat’s interior.
‘Scheherazade’, one of the largest superyachts in the world, drops anchor in the Bodrum district of Turkey in August 2020
Beautiful features of a 700 million dollar yacht
It is estimated that the yacht “Scheherezade” cost 75 billion rubles and its length is 140 meters, which makes it the 13th largest superyacht in the world.
It has six deck floors – equivalent to two apartment buildings.
The yacht can accommodate 18 guests in nine luxury cabins in addition to a crew of 40, residing in 20 cabins.
Other features include:
- Two helipads
- Swimming pool
- A spa complex
- A beauty salon
- Huge halls
- Royal cabins
Pevchikh said: “If a person falls under personal sanctions, like Putin, it means that all his property found in the European Union is automatically frozen.”
“Houses, planes, helicopters, yachts, everything must be seized immediately.
Putin has already called Russians who live in the west “ready to sell their own mother”, “national traitors” who want to belong to a “so-called upper caste”.
Although Scheherezade’s owner is not publicly traded, a number of the ship’s personnel have personal ties to Putin and the Russian security services, according to presenters.
“Graceful is Putin’s former yacht worth 10 billion rubles,” they said.
“After buying Scheherazade, Graceful was re-registered with Putin’s friend Gennady Timchenko.”
In February, Graceful was spotted ‘fleeing’ a shipyard in Germany, sparking speculation she was trying to avoid being seized by harsh sanctions ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The £73.2million pleasure craft, named Graceful, was originally built by Sevmash in Russia – with interiors and exteriors envisioned by H2 Yacht Design – has been moved to Germany for modifications.
A castle on the French Atlantic coast is believed to be owned by Putin’s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova, 35
Putin’s ex-wife Lyudmila is said to be building an elaborate villa in Biarritz, southwest France, according to presenters
Interiors feature smooth, glossy surfaces, overstuffed sofas and lounge chairs, and chic white marble bathrooms.
What appears to be an office contains a multitude of shelves for books and a desk in front of a stunning painting of a sailing ship.
Exercise equipment can also be seen on the deck, which is also lined with lounge-style seating and stools.