Germany has reportedly seized as much as $5 million worth of fine art from a Russian superyacht, after it was impounded in Hamburg earlier this year.
The $600 million superyacht – named Dilbar – is the world’s largest yacht and earlier this year, in April, Dilbar was seized by German officials after it was found its owner, Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs, had close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Dilbar is not the only Russian yacht to be impounded this year; one Russian yacht even attempted to change its name to flee sanctions in Barcelona.
But, back to Dilbar. The German government is said to have taken 30 paintings, including works by French modernist Marc Chagall, with the full collection reportedly worth up to $5 million.
Mr Usmanov’s collection were being displayed on the 511-feet long boat, until the superyacht initially came to the German city of Hamburg in Autumn 2021, seeking repairs. The paintings were then moved to a separate depot.
But after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the ship was seized in April 2022 and Usmanov was hit with a wave of Western sanctions. The German government declared that Mr Usmanov was supposed to declare all belongings and property, including his valuable art collection, but the 69-year-old billionaire never did.
It got worse for Mr Usmanov than simply losing his yacht though. In September, Germany announced that it would also be investigating him for tax evasion and money laundering, carrying out searches of the Munich and Frankfurt branches of Swiss Bank UBS.
It’s believed the billionaire owes the government $550 million in taxes.
Alisher Usmenov’s homes were also raided, including his villa on Tegernsee Lake in Bavaria, where officials found four rare Russian Faberge eggs, worth over $30 million.
These eggs are made by jewellery firm House of Faberge in imperial Russia, between 1885 and 1917 – only 57 of them are believed to still be in existence today.
Mr Usmenov is believed to be residing in his native Uzbekistan, at the time of the raids on his homes.
But, let’s be honest, the sanctions likely won’t hurt the Russian; his assets are estimated to be worth a crazy $11.5 billion by Forbes.
With that much money, the Russian can probably just buy another one.