Valued at $120m, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s second-largest superyacht, recently renamed the ‘Kosatka’ (‘Killer whale’), continues to dodge sanctions and has been spotted off the coast of Estonia, according to a report.
Formerly named the ‘Graceful’, the 267-foot luxury boat was spotted by photographer Carl Groll, who snapped it at the end of September on its voyage back to Putin’s hometown of St Petersburg.
The vessel fled German waters upon Russia’s instigation of its invasion of Ukraine in February and has so far managed to evade being compounded. It was photographed travelling north through the Baltic Sea whilst being escorted by a Russian coastguard ship.
Back in February, German newspaper Bild reported that the superyacht had made a hasty escape before repairs could be finished, cutting short a five-month refit at the shipyards of Blohm & Voss, the company that built the yacht in 2014.
Seeking to go under the radar, the ship’s captain turned off the transponder, according to ship tracking service Marine Traffic, before leaving the port of Hamburg on Feb. 7.
Captained by British national Guy Bennett-Pierce and crewed mainly by Russian secret service officers, the superyacht boasts an array of luxurious features, including a gym, spiral staircase, swimming pool and gold-covered interiors.
Putin’s largest superyacht, the 460ft-long Scheherazade, was impounded in Italy in May, but the ‘Killer whale’ is yet to be meet the same fate, despite the U.S. government adding the yacht to a list of proposed sanctions on June 2.
A statement from the Italian Financial Police in May said: “After verification by the fiscal authorities, it has come to light that there is a significant economic connection between the owner of The Scheherazade and senior elements of the Russian government.
“On the basis of these elements it has been recommended that the yacht be placed on the current European Union sanctions list and the Minister of Finance in Rome has agreed.”
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