German Police Seize World’s Biggest Superyacht

Unchartered waters...

German Police Seize World’s Biggest Superyacht

Image Credit: The Market Herald

The mighty Dilbar – the world’s biggest superyacht – has been seized by German officials. Germany’s federal criminal police office (the BKA) took to Twitter on Wednesday to share the news.

“The #BKA has determined the owner of the M/S #Dilbar through extensive investigations despite offshore concealment,” the BKA wrote. “This is Gulbakhor Ismailova, Alisher Usmanov’s sister.”

In a follow up tweet the BKA added: “@Ministry of Foreign Affair, @BMWK and @BMF_Bund made sure in Brussels that the Russian owner was sanctioned.”

“The luxury yacht M/S #Dilbar is therefore subject to the sanction law and could be legally fixed in Hamburg.”


The Dilbar is 156-metres long, and the world’s biggest superyacht by volume. It was being refitted in Hamburg when it was seized. Apparently, it was named after its owner, Alisher Usmanov’s mother. Alisher Usmanov is one of the world’s richest men – a Russian oligarch with ties to Putin.

RELATED: Which Superyachts Belong To Which Russian Oligarchs? An Investigation

The Dilbar has a 25-metre swimming pool and two helipads. It houses 36 guests in 18 cabins (and 84 crew in 40 cabins), and was built by Lurssen. The Dilbar has a top speed of 22.5 knots and an annual running cost of $50-80 million USD. The US treasury values The Dilbar at up to $US750 million (AU $1.006 billion).

Just to fuel The Dilbar allegedly costs up to $1.5 million

The Dilbar was launched in 2016 at an estimated US $648 million ($882,922,680 AUD). Five years later, however, it got a pricey retrofit reportedly costing another couple of hundred million dollars (bringing it to the US treasury’s remarkable AU $1.006 billion valuation).

Image Credit: Boat International

The news that The Dilbar has been seized is not a huge surprise. Forbes reported earlier this year that authorities had halted work on the ship (though they didn’t have enough evidence at that point to actually seize the vessel).

According to the AFR, “Germany’s federal crime office said Wednesday that despite efforts at what it called ‘offshore concealment,’ it had determined the yacht’s owner was Usmanov’s sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova.”

This enabled it to be subject to sanctions law, and impounded.

A BKA spokesman has reportedly said The Dilbar could not be “sold, rented or pledged as collateral.”

Elsewhere around the world, other superyachts under threat of sanction have appeared to be making their way to one mysterious location called Vladivostok…

Read Next