High Court orders Akhmedov to hand over superyacht in divorce battle

Russian billionaire Farkad Akhmedov, 62, has been ordered by the English High Court in London to hand over to his wife Tatiana Akhmedova, 41, a £350m ($500m) superyacht.

Justice Haddon-Cave at the High Court ruled that Akhmedov had used evasive and underhand tactics to keep the yacht beyond the reach of the English courts and to avoid paying his wife.

The 377ft Luna was bought by Akhmedov in 2014 from Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich. The yacht, currently in Dubai, was described in court as the second largest expedition yacht in the world.

It is fitted with an anti-missile system, has a mini-submarine attached and a 20-metre swimming pool. In December 2014 Akhmedov sold Luna to a Panama-based company. Judge Haddon-Cave said late last week that the company was plainly a “mere cipher” of Akhmedov, and that the sale was intended as a means of keeping the asset out of his wife’s reach. The couple married in 1989 and moved to London in 1993. In 2016 the court awarded her £453m because of her “equal contributions to the welfare of the ­family.” It was the largest sum ever awarded for a divorce settlement in Britain and constituted and estimated 41.5% of Akhmedov’s wealth. Akhmedova said that he had not paid the money; she was seeking an order preventing him from concealing assets.