- A Russian oligarch’s superyacht stopped sending tracking signals for almost two weeks.
- Leonid Mikhelson’s yacht only sent its destination after reaching the safe waters of Turkey, according to the data.
- Many superyachts owned by oligarchs are now in Turkey, which does not recognize Western sanctions.
A $150million superyacht owned by Russia’s second-richest man has finally been located after ceasing to broadcast tracking signals for weeks, ship tracking data shows.
Bloomberg first reported the story.
The superyacht called Pacific, owned by Novatek CEO and oligarch Leonid Mikhelson, docked in safe Turkish waters at the port of Marmaris in the south of the country on Thursday, according to data from Speyer.
The 280ft (86m) yacht disabled its tracking signals from early May, when it was last tracked in the Caribbean Sea. His marker had spotted the yacht on May 20 near the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa.
Mikhelson, worth $21.5 billion according to Forbes data, is a business partner of sanctioned oligarch Gennady Timchenko, whose family, including his wife and daughters, have also been hit with sanctions .
Mikhelson was sanctioned by the UK and Canada in early April.
Turkey has been a favored destination for the superyachts of the oligarchs following the imposition of sanctions by the West. Roman Abramovich’s superyachts The Eclipse and My Solaris are both in Turkish waters.
According to SuperyachtFan, the yacht can accommodate two helicopters, has an elevator, a swimming pool, a smaller speedboat and can accommodate 12 guests and 28 crew members.
Novatek is the largest private natural gas supplier in Russia, according to Bloomberg, accounting for around 10% of consumption.
Insider has reached out to Novatek for comment.
The United States and its allies have launched a campaign against Russian tycoons linked to Vladimir Putin by seizing superyachts, villas and other assets.
However, legal challenges have escalated in Fiji, where the United States has granted an order to seize Amadea’s $325 million owned by Suleiman Kerimov. A Russian billionaire had acted as a “straw owner” to conceal his ownership, US authorities have alleged.
Vagit Alekperov’s $80 million superyacht Galactica Super Nova also stopped sending tracking signals after leaving Montenegro in early March following the imposition of sanctions.
Other ships owned by oligarchs have sailed to Turkey, including Dmitry Kamenshchik’s $400 million superyacht and Alexander Abramov’s $100 million yacht.