Monaco-based yacht services company sanctioned by US

The US Treasury has sanctioned Monaco-based Imperial Yachts for its alleged links to the Russian elite.

Imperial Yachts provides a full portfolio of megayacht services, from design and ordering to chartering and shipmanagement. It maintains a Moscow office. The US said that it was a popular choice of Russia’s yacht-owning elite.

The Treasury has listed Imperial Yachts and its CEO, Russian national Evgeniy Borisovich Kockman, for operating or having operated in the marine sector of the Russian economy. It also specifically identified one yacht connected to Imperial Yachts, the Flying Fox (IMO 9829394), as blocked property.

Imperial Yachts promptly disputed the US Treasury’s findings and said that it would pursue all legal remedies to reverse the department’s decision.

The US Treasury also sanctioned the Sea Rhapsody (IMO 1010648), a $65m yacht with connections to sanctioned individual Andrei Kostin, CEO of VTB Bank. Sea Rhapsody is a Marshall Islands-flagged superyacht and is currently located in the Seychelles.

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said that “Russia’s elites, up to and including President Putin, rely on complex support networks to hide, move, and maintain their wealth and luxury assets. We will continue to enforce our sanctions and expose the corrupt systems by which President Putin and his elites enrich themselves.”

The Treasury also named four yachts as blocked property for alleged links to Putin himself. The first, Russia-flagged Graceful (IMO 1011551), had long been suspected of connections to the Russian president. The vessel quietly left Germany for Kaliningrad not long before the invasion of Ukraine.

Cayman Islands-flagged Olympia (IMO 1006960) was also named. The US Treasury said that Putin had taken multiple trips aboard Olympia and Graceful, including one voyage in the company of Belarusian leader Aleksander Lukashenka, also a sanctioned individual.

The companies connected to the two vessels have also been listed, including SCF Management Services Cyprus, Ironstone Marine Investments, JSC Argument, and O’Neill Assets Corporation, along with JSC Argument’s sole shareholder, Andrei Valeryevich Gasilov.

The Treasury named two yachts. The department alleged that the Nega (MMSI 273337970) (linked to LLC Gelios) had been used by Putin personally for travel in Russia’s northern regions, and the yacht Shellest (MMSI 273385420) (linked to NFP Revival of Maritime Traditions) had sailed to the shores of Putin’s Black Sea Palace estate.

Finally, the vessel Madame Gu (IMO 1011331) was named a secondary sanctions risk, as linked to Andrei Vladimirovich Skoch.

However, the $700m megayacht Scheherazade (IMO 9809980) was absent from the list. The US had previously alleged that Scheherazade was Putin’s personal yacht.

2019-built, Cayman Islands-flagged, 9,022 gt Flying Fox is owned by Tarcona Marine SA care of Imperial Yachts Sarl of Monte Carlo, Monaco. As of June 2nd the vessel was moored in Gocek, Turkey.

2012-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 1,503 gt Sea Rhapsody is owned by Solston Shipping Ltd Bze care of manager Dean & Waters Ltd of Haywards Heath, UK (in March recorded as managed by Ocean Management GmbH of Kusnacht, Switzerland). As of June 5th it was moored in Port Victoria, Seychelles.

2014-built, Russia-flagged, 2,685 gt Graceful is owned and managed by Argument JSC of Gelendzhik, Krasnodarskiy Kray, Russia. No AIS since February 9th, when it was in Kaliningrad.

2002-built, Cayman Islands-flagged, 779 gt Olympia is owned by Ironstone Marine Investments care of manager SCF Management Serv-Cyp of Limassol, Cyprus. No AIS since July 31st last year, when it was in the Baltic Sea.

2013-built, Cayman Islands-flagged, 2,991 gt Madame Gu is owned by Almano Holding Ltd care of manager Watermark Yacht Management of Monte Carlo, Monaco.