The National Crime Agency (NCA) has announced that it has detained a brand new £38m SuperYacht owned by a Russian businessman. It is the first time that UK authorities have detained a SuperYacht in UK waters.
SuperYacht ‘Phi’ had entered UK waters with its AIS switched off. AIS is an electronic system that identifies vessels to marine traffic datacentres.
According to a video posted in January by SuperYacht YouTube vlogging channel ‘Yacht Buoy‘ SuperYacht Phi was last in UK waters in December, having spent the Christmas period in the capital.
When she was last docked in Canary Wharf, the vessel had its AIS system switched on.
Officers from the National Crime Agency’s ‘Combating Kleptocracy Cell’ have served a detention notice on the superyacht this morning (29th March), meaning that it cannot be moved and is not allowed to leave UK territorial waters.
A spokesperson for the NCA said that following some fast-paced work by intelligence officers in the Cell – supported by colleagues from Border Force Maritime Intelligence Bureau – the ultimate owner of the vessel Phi was identified.
Following the detention of the vessel, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson told reporters that the UK government “will continue to take robust action against anyone benefitting from Russian links”.
“For the first time ever in UK waters, we have detained a Russian superyacht – the £38 million, Phi,” he said.
“The Department for Transport has worked closely with the National Crime Agency and Border Force Maritime Investigation Bureau to intercept the superyacht and will continue to take robust action against anyone benefitting from Russian links”
The government later clarified that the owner of the vessel is not currently subject to UK sanctions.
More information is in the video below:
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