Croatian Minister Butkovic said that Usmanov’s arrested yacht was taken out of the country
Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure of Croatia Oleg Butkovic said that due to an oversight the yacht arrested for allegedly belonging to the Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov was taken from the country. In turn, Usmanov’s press service denied the involvement of the businessman in the yacht to RIA Novosti.
According to Croatian Radio and Television, the yacht Irina Vu was banned from leaving the country’s territorial waters because it was on the list of “Russian oligarchs’ ships under EU, U.S., and British sanctions. Croatian authorities believe it belongs to Usmanov and his wife.
“Alisher Burkhanovic does not own the Irina VU yacht, which is mentioned in the Croatian press, and cannot be connected in any way to her disappearance from the port of Betina,” said Usmanov’s press service.
“She was stolen from the berth in the port of Betina on the island of Murter back in early October. Another, almost identical yacht entered the port in her place, and the original one is now in the Turkish port of Didim on the Aegean Sea. An international warrant has been issued to search for her and it is being investigated how she could have entered Turkey while under a ban,” reports the national TV channel.
The Croatian minister said in a briefing on Friday that the management of the international seaport in Dubrovnik did not have a list of arrested vessels, which led to the omission.
“As minister, I take full responsibility. I have already fired the head of the maritime security sector, who had a direct responsibility to report this (list – ed.) to all port captains, including in Sibenik and its branch in Beton. I had a conversation with them, they certainly did not do it deliberately,” Butkovic told reporters.
According to Croatian media, FBI agents searched the yacht of Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvechuk in Croatian Trogir with the permission of the Zupani (district) court in Split.
In March, Croatian authorities detained three yachts associated with entities and individuals on the EU sanctions list, which were anchored in the ports of Rijeka and the towns of Betina and Skradin. One of the detained vessels, a 92-meter luxury yacht Royal Romance, worth about $180 million, according to authorities, belongs to Medvedchuk.