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Yacht about it Russian-owned £38 million super yacht detained as a 'warning to Putin and his cronies'

"Detaining the Phi proves that we can and will take the strongest possible action against those seeking to benefit from Russian connections"

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The Phi is boarded at Canary Wharf

The Phi is boarded at Canary Wharf

The Phi is boarded at Canary Wharf

A £38 million superyacht featuring an “infinite wine cellar” and patented fresh-water swimming pool has been detained in the UK as part of a “clear and stark warning to Putin and his cronies”. 

Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA)’s Combating Kleptocracy Cell made the first ever detention of a super yacht owned by a Russian national in UK waters following orders from the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The Phi, the third biggest yacht built by prestigious shipbuilders Royal Huisman, was boarded by UK authorities in Canary Wharf.

The ownership of the yacht was deliberately well hidden, according into the NCA.

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NCA officers on board the boat

NCA officers on board the boat

NCA officers on board the boat

The company the ship is registered to is based in the islands of St Kitts and Nevis and it carried Maltese flags to hide its origins.

However, 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 and the information passed onto the Transport Secretary.

Andy Devine, from the NCA, said: “Today’s activity demonstrates the NCA’s ability to react at pace.

"We have surged officers to establish the Combatting Kleptocracy Cell, and the results of this are already bearing fruit.

“The NCA plays a vital role in targeting suspect assets, pursuing enablers of illicit wealth and supporting government partners in the delivery of the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

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The Phi was discovered to be owned by a Russian businessman

The Phi was discovered to be owned by a Russian businessman

The Phi was discovered to be owned by a Russian businessman

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added: “Today we’ve detained a £38m superyacht and turned an icon of Russia’s power and wealth into a clear and stark warning to Putin and his cronies.

“Detaining the Phi, proves, yet again, that we can and will take the strongest possible action against those seeking to benefit from Russian connections.”

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