In June 2022, the United States designated Superyacht Madame Gu, linked to Russian oligarch Andrei Skoch and alleged the vessel as blocked property. The Justice Department is held responsible for taking steps to seize Madame Gu.
Superyacht Madame Gu: Key Features
The yacht was designed by Andrew Winch Designs, who was responsible for both the interior and exterior, opting for contemporary details in a classical style.
Superyacht Madame Gu is 99 metres (325 feet) long, has a beam of 13.60 metres (44.6 feet), and a draft of 4.60 metres (15.1 feet). The hull material is steel, while the superstructure is made out of aluminium with teak-laid decks.
The yacht is registered in the Cayman Islands and is valued at $156 million.
The main engines are four MTU 20V 4000 M73 with a power of 4.828 hp (3.600 kW) each, and the Madame Gu can reach a maximum speed of 24 knots (44 km/h).
What are the seizure details of Superyacht Madame Gu?
In March 2022, according to reports, Andrei Skoch held ownership of the superyacht Madame Gu.
However, in June 2022, the United States designated the vessel as blocked property, and the Justice Department is now taking steps to seize Madame Gu.
Who is Andrei Skoch?
Andrei Skoch is a Russian billionaire businessman and a member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation since 1999. He was born on January 30, 1966, in the village of Nikolskoye, Moscow region.
Skoch is part owner of the steelmaker Lebedinsky Mining and is among the richest Russians.
He has a net worth of $6.3 billion as of February 2021 and is ranked 288th on the Forbes World’s Billionaires List 2021.
Skoch has been on the US sanctions list since 2018 for Russia’s invasion of Crimea, the eastern region of Ukraine. In August 2022, the United States obtained a warrant for the seizure of his aeroplane, an Airbus A319-100 worth over $90 million, which is believed to be in Kazakhstan.
Why were sanctions imposed on Andrei Skoch?
Andrei Skoch was sanctioned by the United States in 2018 for his alleged long-standing ties to Russian organised criminal groups, including time spent leading one such enterprise.
The sanctions were imposed in the wake of sanctions against Russia along with other Russian oligarchs, all of whom are close to the Kremlin, and therefore must share the consequences of their government’s political actions.
Skoch has been on the US sanctions list since 2018 for Russia’s invasion of Crimea, the eastern region of Ukraine.
In March 2022, Skoch was added to the UK asset freeze and travel ban sanctions list “in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine.”
FAQ – Superyacht Madame Gu
Q.1 What is Superyacht Madame Gu?
Madame Gu is a 99-metre luxury motor yacht built by Feadship in 2013. It features an exterior design by Winch Design and an interior by Andrew Winch. The yacht has a beam of 13.6 metres and a maximum draft of 4.6 meters. It has four MTU 20V 4000 M73 diesel engines and can travel at a comfortable top speed of 24 knots. Madame Gu has a total of 6 cabins, including a master suite and 5 guest cabins, and can accommodate up to 12 guests. The yacht has a crew of 36 and sleeps in 18 crew cabins.
Q.2 Who owns Superyacht Madame Gu?
The owner of Madame Gu is not publicly known. However, leaked documents show that a shell company based in the Cayman Islands paid $277 million for the yacht in 2012. Elena Likhach, a Russian businesswoman, was in charge of the shell company.
Q.3 Why is Superyacht Madame Gu in the news?
Madame Gu has been in the news recently because the United States declared it blocked property in August 2022, meaning American companies or citizens cannot be employed for its upkeep.
The yacht had previously vanished in March 2022, only to be found three months later in Dubai, where it still is today. The US officials are trying to seize the yacht, but since it currently resides in a sovereign nation, cooperation with that country’s government is required to seize the property.
The yacht is linked to Russian billionaire and politician Andrei Skoch, a sanctioned figure by the US and UK for his alleged long-standing ties to Russian organised criminal groups.