Spanish authorities have seized a yacht apparently owned by a Russian billionaire on the EU sanctions list, local media reported on Monday.
Spain's Merchant Navy was checking whether the 85-metre luxury yacht 'Valerie,' with an estimated value of 150 million dollars, belongs to Russian oligarch Sergei Chemezov, newspapers including El Pais reported.
According to El Pais, the so-called 'Pandora Papers' show that the yacht is linked to Chemezov, the head of Russian state-owned defence conglomerate Rostec, and his stepdaughter via an intricate network of offshore companies.
Chemezov, an old acquaintance of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was put on an EU sanctions list after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The yacht, which operates under the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, was built in 2011 by the Lürssen shipyard in Bremen and is registered with a shell company.
Spanish authorities said they have had great difficulty in establishing the vessel's ownership beyond any doubt, according to reports.
The 'Valerie' yacht — which #PandoraPapers show is linked to Russian oligarch Sergei Chemezov and his stepdaughter via an intricate network of offshore companies — has been retained in Barcelona by Spanish authorities, ICIJ partner @elpais_america reports. https://t.co/ZavPrqbl9W— ICIJ (@ICIJorg) March 14, 2022
The Pandora Papers investigation, carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, revealed how hundreds of heads of state, politicians and prominent figures have assets in offshore accounts, secretive foundations or shell companies.