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Russian Oligarch Yachts; Ukrainian Solution

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by amuskett, Feb 25, 2022.

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  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    No one is dealing with dollars. Dealing with multiple layers of companies and with Russian banks involved plus other banks.

    Typical type situation, Russian company set up which then owns another Russian company which then owns another. Ownership of the original company blind. (Like in a few counties in the US). Wyoming is the best US state for anonymous ownership but Virgin Islands and Panama and the Bahamas are very good in that regard. Ok, so Russian company six levels down invests in Monaco company. Monaco company invests in another and then it in another and five levels down, a Monaco company contracts for a boat. All names shown are local managers in Monaco.

    Russian crew, Russian staff know who uses it but not about to disclose and that doesn't tell you absolute ownership.

    Simple examples are most strip clubs. Tell me who owns Club 54 in Fort Lauderdale? That will give you an idea that this isn't easy. Or Boardwalk? I just picked this one because many South Florida strip clubs are owned by Russians, but in general no strip club owner wants their name connected to it.
    FlyingGolfer likes this.
  2. Rerm

    Rerm New Member

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    I understand hiding ownership, which is why I'm surprised by the inability to follow the MONEY TRAIL....you can hide ownership, but the international money transfer system is electronic........follow the money and eventually you get somewhere....but yes, I can see, how doing so, 100% legally might be an issue....
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    They use banks that allow anonymity, but regardless of any of that once it hits Russian banks, all tracing deadends.
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  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    And for the record, you'll never trace the money to the strip clubs. The most perfect business for money laundering. The people who get arrested typically are definitely not those who own or fund them, way too stupid to have that kind of money.
  5. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    @letsjet

    No, I am talking of the behaviour of the Oligarchs in person and not their crews. On one occasion, we watched this well known Oligarch beating up a women on his sundeck, because she had been sunbathing toppless with male crew members present. And this with his crew members still present, when beating her. My wife met her accidently later in a shop downtown Monaco and asked this obviously Russian woman (I am not saying Lady on purpose), why she had been tolerating such behaviour. She said: " You know, that's the way Russian men are, especially the rich ones. But if You want to have that lifestile, you have to live with that. And I made a mistake. It was my fault" :(. No more comment!

    The crews of those Russian owned (or may be only Russian used ?) yachts are mostly non Russian. The officers are mainly British, NZ or Australians and some Canadians. The female stews are mostly Russian or from some Balkan states. There are only two large Yachts, owned by the same person, that have 100 % Russian crew (Cremlin guards and military personal). The only time I had problems with the Russian crew of a large sailboat in the harbour of Palma was, when my bosun and I were on photo tour with my tender for shooting pictures for Yachtforums. One Russian deckhand tried to blind me with an illegal powerfull laser pointer. He hurt my eye and ruined my camera. The Spanish Guardia Civil took care of that case. I posted about that happening here on YF before.

    But not all Oligarchs are chovinists with no education and no behaviour. The owner of the two yacht with only a letter of the alphabet as a name for example, is an elegant and highly educated person, happily married and treating his beautiful wife very well. But this makes the origin of his wealth not any better.

    Again, I hope that my family and myself do not have to encounter those guys this and the next seasons in the Med again. And I am really sorry, that Mr. R.A. of R. has to beg for a loan in order to pay his bills. What a poor fellow :D.

    Just my 2 (Euro) cents
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  6. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    I wouldn't expect much change until something like 90% of the Russian population has free access to worldwide news reporting... and even then, not until 70-75% of Russians come to understand and believe what they learn from that.

    -Chris
    Fishtigua likes this.
  7. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Two small updates.

    Luerssen is sending out questionnaires for all boats in their yard, under build, to try to identify owners and measure their own compliance to laws.

    Multiple oligarchs have purchased multiple apartments in Turkey to go for golden residency.
  8. letsjet

    letsjet New Member

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    @HTMO9

    I appreciate your first hand knowledge...I wish I was surprised by the words from the Russian woman your wife encountered. Having spent a fair amount of time in SMX I have seen that mindset you describe....Further, your words regarding non Russian crew rings true with my minimal observation as I once knew a few crew on one of these seized vessels... I wouldn't mind having a conversation with the owner you describe as elegant, as I'd like to understand further the design thoughts of those vessels...I respect everyone's choice and selection of design, but I believe if I was budgeting that level of funds, I would have gone a different way... I hope you have an enjoyable and peaceful time in the Med this season...
  9. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Found a great YouTube channel for the history buffs.

    Here is a video of the history behind why Russia feels surrounded by enemies, which is utter BS.

  10. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    What the populace believes... and what is true... aren't always the same.

    If the majority of the Russian population continues to believe what they "learn" from state media... they'll likely continue to support Putin. Which also means he has no significant incentive to change his behavior.

    -Chris
  11. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Same can be said about our own country. Glass houses et al.
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  12. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Good news!

    The flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, the 180 meter missile cruiser "Moskwa" has been sunk by the Ukrainians. The missile cruiser was hit by one or two Neptun anti ship missiles in the Black Sea about 65 NM south of Odessa. The cruiser was hit in the amunition storage area, the amunition exploded and the large cruiser being on fire, started sinking. The crew was able to abandon the ship.

    This is the second larger war ship sunk by the Ukrainians during this war. The first one was a large landing craft.

    The unbeatable red army is probably not that good after all! And the sinking of Moskwa has been confirmed by Russia. First, they said it was a fire in the amunition bay but the ship was still seaworthy and now they say, the ship sunk in a storm. Their fake propaganda is not only really stupid, they always lie.

    Well done my Ukrainian friends, well done indeed!!!!
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Well, er, ah,,, Not sunk but really messed up.
    Getting towed back for repairs.

    Supposed to be the boat that hit that little island and killed the Ukrainian contingent in charge.
    It was reported (many weeks ago) that that boat was hit already.

    So, Not all the news from over there is making to much sense.

    Ukraine did and admits to a missile strike on an in-country ruski air field.
    Ukraine still denies hitting the in-country ruski fuel depot.
    Figure that one out..
  14. letsjet

    letsjet New Member

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    Ralph, your info is dated.... She is in fact sunk as HTM probably confirmed that fact before he posted....

    That said, while I'm not equally as elated as my friend from Germany, I don't have any heartbreak either.... What's on my mind is the environmental damage and my gut / speculation that nukes are aboard that vessel...Further, I'm not even sure of her power plant... But, RU has a history of putting nukes on vessels covertly.... So I hope there are accurate investigations regarding her salvage...
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  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Wow, it did sink? Wow.
    And, I agree with your concerns.
  16. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    She sank also according to the Russian news agency.
    The reasons reported are as usually different, but I think it's safe to assume that sank she is for good.
  17. Scott W

    Scott W Senior Member

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    I think part of the problem is the Dutch authorities couldn't (easily) identify the beneficial owners of at least some of these yachts. So, they have been arrested pending an investigation to determine just that. It's unclear if that could happen under US law (possible, but not certain). But, it's apparently allowable under Dutch law.
  18. Kevin

    Kevin YF Moderator

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    Full details of the Moskwa sinking here: LINK
  19. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    One of my Ukrainian employees, that I managed to get out of Odessa lately, was able to call his brother in Odessa yesterday. He confirmed, that the Ukrainian army fired several anti ship missiles from the Odessa area towards the sowjet cruiser. At least one of those missiles must have hit the warship and caused a fire on board and most of all degraded the structual integrety of the hull. If the ship was finally destroyed and sunk by secondary fire and explosions is of minor importance.

    This victory goes to the Ukraine!


    The large missile containers vissible on Moskwa is really very old stuff. These "cruise missiles" are technology of the sixties. They are equivalent to our old Matador cruise missiles, the Nato had in the very beginning, when we were still following the so called "massive retaliation" doctrine. And yes these Russian surface to surface missiles can carry a nuclear warhead. But they are very difficult to handle. They have a solid fuel booster engine for leaving the container and get initial flying speed to have the wings deploy and allow the air breething jet engine to start and spool up. But these missiles have to be refuelled prior launch. Very dangerous equipment. Not for only for the target but also for the soldiers operating and launching them.

    The Russians have a pretty careless attitude handling their special weapons, nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors. The burned out nuclear reactors of their nuclear submarines, still highly radioactive, are just thrown on a dump site in the open air or dumped into the ocean. There are several dumb sites outside Murmansk, where dozends of burned out nuclear reactors just lay in the open. The whole area is heavily radioactive contaminated. They just do not care, not even about the lifes of their own people.

    If Russia will finally loose that war against the Ukraine, their arrogance, inflexibility and their subject to authority besides their stupidness due to their long history of living under dictatorship, will be for sure be contributing factors for that.

    Our motto, flexibility is the key to military strength, is definately not valid for this bunch of criminals and mass murderers!

    Just my 2 (Euro) cents
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  20. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    As more and more large Russian owned yachts get detained by western authorities, does any of our members have a reasonable secure overview, which most likely Russian owned large yacht is still floating around free on the seven seas?
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