, 2023-01-18 05:50:17,
A yacht owned by sanctioned Uzbek oligarch Alisher Usmanov has allegedly disappeared from its dock in the Central Adriatic, Croatia.
Reports claim the yacht was replaced with a decoy yacht almost three months ago. Alarmingly, the apparent heist has only just been noticed by authorities, despite the yacht being frozen under police custody.
The 35-metre (114-foot) Sunseeker 115 Irina VU, which had been dry docked at a marina in Betina as part of Western sanctions on Usmanov, was removed and sailed away to Turkey during the night, only to be replaced by an identical luxury ship to avoid any suspicion.
It is understood from AIS data that Irina VU is now at the Didim marina in the Turkish part of the Aegean Sea in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey has so far refused to go along with Western sanctions and has become a de facto ‘transit hub’ for Russia.
Oleg Butković, Croatian transport minister, said, “We are still determining the circumstances of the yacht’s disappearance. We all know it vanished under still unclear circumstances. We shall now determine how that happened and whether there were any failings of the system.”
Butković states that the Croatian intelligence service and the state prosecutor are both taking part in an ongoing investigation.
According to Alen Gospocic, the state secretary in the Ministry of the Sea who is overseeing the investigation, there is no security at the marina.
In a media statement, Gospocic noted that authorities had followed…
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