Germany seized the Superyacht Dilbar , owned by a Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov ‘s sister Gulbakhor Ismailova who is also under Western sanctions on 3 March 2022.
Superyacht Dilbar: The World’s Largest Yacht Seized by Germany
German authorities seized the Superyacht Dilbar, worth between $600 and $735 million according to the U.S. Treasury Department at the port of Hamburg on Apr 14, 2022 after determining that a Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov had transferred its ownership to his sister who is also facing Western sanctions.
The yacht Dilbar measures 511 feet and weighs 15,917 tons . The shipbuilder Lurssen says makes it the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage. It has two helipads and one of the biggest indoor pools installed on a yacht.
Dilbar: A Symbol of Russian Oligarch Wealth and Power
The superyacht Dilbar is named after the mother of its original owner ,Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s wealthiest billionaires and a close associate of the Russian president. Usmanov was sanctioned by the U.S., United Kingdom., European Union and Switzerland in March 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Gulbakhor Ismailova was born on 22.12.1959 in Bekabad (Tashkent), Uzbekistan SSR. Gulbahor Ismailova is the founder of The Sister Trust.
Gulbakhor Ismailova is a sister of Alisher Usmanov. Investigations by the German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) revealed that Alisher Usmanov indirectly transferred assets to his sister Gulbakhor Ismailova. In particular, the owner of the yacht “Dilbar” is Navis Marine Ltd. (Cayman Islands), whose shareholder is Almenor Holdings Ltd. (Cyprus).
According to the EU, all shares in that holding company are held by Pomerol Capital SA (Switzerland) in trust for the benefit of “The Sisters Trust”. Since 2017, Alisher Usmanov has no longer been a shareholder of this trust company, leaving his sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova, as the only beneficial owner of the yacht “Dilbar”.
She has also been linked to luxury real estate in Italy and Latvia, that can be linked to her brother Alisher Usmanov. She is therefore a natural person associated with Alisher Usmanov (her brother), who actively supported materially or financially Russian decision-makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilisation of Ukraine and actively supported the Russian government’s policies of destabilisation of Ukraine.
The Seizure of Dilbar : TimeLine Of Events
Date : March 3 2022 , Superyacht Dilbar Seized by Germany
Russian billionaire and business tycoon Alisher Usmanov’s superyacht Dilbar was restricted from leaving its anchorage by German authorities.
The official said the yacht has not been physically seized but rather is not allowed to move from its current location in the German port city of Hamburg.
The new U.S. sanctions listing Usmanov’s yacht as blocked property effectively means that any transactions related to the yacht, including maintenance, the hiring of crew, payment of docking fees conducted with U.S. persons or in U.S. dollars are prohibited.
Date : March 07 2022 , Crew of Superyacht Dilbar Fired
The crew of the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov’s superyacht Dilbar was fired on 7 March 2022. Sarnia Yachts, a yacht-management company in the UK that provided the crew for the $600 million vessel, Dilbar, said that “normal operation of the yacht has ceased,” and that its crew had to be dismissed “as a result of the sanctions imposed.
The US has declared Dilbar “blocked property,” which prohibits US staff from working on the vessel and bans the payment for its docking fees in US dollars. Sarnia Yachts also said that it was unable to continue paying salaries to the ship’s crew, and that their final wages would instead be paid by the boat’s owner.
“We have tried all avenues to find a solution to keep the team in place, and protect our positions, but have reached the end of the road of possibilities,” Tim Armstrong, Dilbar’s captain, wrote in a message to the crew.
Date : April 12 2022 , Superyacht Dilbar Seized by Germany
Germany’s federal police said that it found, “through extensive investigations despite offshore concealment,” that the yacht Dilbar currently belongs to Usmanov’s sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova. Authorities impounded the yacht at the port of Hamburg, after confirming with Brussels that its owner is under sanctions.
Gulbakhor Ismailova was sanctioned by both UK and EU. They said Usmanov had indirectly transferred assets to his sister, including leaving her as Dilbar’s only beneficial owner.
The yacht is being held in the Port of Hamburg in Germany. Hamburg’s Ministry for Economy and Innovation said that Dilbar wouldn’t be able to leave the port until it received an export waiver from Germany’s federal customs agency.
Date : 29 April 2022 ,Usmanov appeals against the sanctions at EU’s General Court
Alisher Usmanov appealed the European Union’s decision to impose strict sanctions on him in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Usmanov and his sisters were denied the pleas to overrule the decision to freeze their funds. The Council of the European Union rejected the pleas, stating that they had failed to demonstrate “urgency/serious irreparable harm” caused by the sanctions that were announced back in February 2022.
Usmanov filed an appeal at the EU’s General Court on April 29, asking the bloc’s second-highest tribunal also to suspend the sanctions until judges make a final decision, according to a court filing.
Date : 6 Sept 2022 : Hungary Demands to lift EU Sanctions on 3 Russian Oligarchs
Hungary had asked to remove three Russian nationals from the EU’s sanctions list. The Russian businessmen concerned are Alisher Usmanov, Petr Aven and Viktor Rashnikov.
But the next day , Hungary dropped its demand to lift sanctions imposed by the European Union on three Russian oligarchs. Hungary and Slovakia are both heavily reliant on Russian oil.
Date : May 12, 2023, German court ruled raids on Superyacht Dilbar were illegal
A Frankfurt court declared that searches on the Dilbar yacht were illegal. The official said that the investigators should not have searched the yacht and Bavarian villa of the Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov on suspicion of money laundering.
Date : 14 Aug 2023 : Alisher Usmanov files complaint at German Constitutional Court
In August 2023, Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov filed a complaint with the German Constitutional Court, arguing that the personal sanctions against him are unjustified and that some provisions of the German Foreign Trade Act are unconstitutional.
Usmanov specifically objects to the provisions that require sanctioned individuals to report their own assets to the authorities. He argues that this violates the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination.
Usmanov also claims that the searches of his superyacht, Dilbar, were a violation of the inviolability of the dwelling and an infringement of his personal dignity.
FAQs on Superyacht Dilbar
Q: What is Superyacht Dilbar?
A: Superyacht Dilbar is the world’s largest yacht by volume. It is owned by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov and is estimated to be worth $735 million. The yacht is 511 feet long and has 12 decks. It can accommodate up to 24 guests and has a crew of 80.
Q: Why is Superyacht Dilbar in the news?
A: Superyacht Dilbar was seized by German authorities in March 2022 as part of sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Usmanov is one of several Russian oligarchs who have been targeted by sanctions.
Q: What are the features of Superyacht Dilbar?
A: Superyacht Dilbar has a number of luxurious features, including:
- A 25-meter swimming pool
- Two helipads
- A spa and gym
- A movie theater
- A concert hall
- A winter garden
- A private beach
Q: How much does it cost to operate Superyacht Dilbar?
A: It is estimated that it costs $60 million per year to operate Superyacht Dilbar. This includes the cost of fuel, crew salaries, and maintenance.
Q: What will happen to Superyacht Dilbar now that it has been seized?
A: The future of Superyacht Dilbar is uncertain. It is possible that the yacht could be sold to raise money for Ukraine or that it could be returned to Usmanov once the sanctions are lifted.
Q: Is Superyacht Dilbar the only yacht that has been seized due to sanctions?
A: No. A number of other yachts owned by Russian oligarchs have been seized since the invasion of Ukraine. These include the yachts of Roman Abramovich, Alexey Mordashov, and Viktor Vekselberg.