Superyacht owned by Russian businessman detained in London

Phi was held in Canary Wharf, east London on the orders of Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

29 March 2022

A superyacht has been detained in London as part of sanctions against Russia, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

UK officials boarded Phi – owned by a Russian businessman – in Canary Wharf, east London on Tuesday.

The vessel is the first to be detained in the UK under sanctions imposed because of the war in Ukraine.

Phi – named after the mathematical concept – made her maiden voyage last year after being built in the Netherlands.

She is 58.5 metres long and features what is described as an “infinite wine cellar” and a freshwater swimming pool.

The vessel was in London for a superyacht awards ceremony and was due to depart at noon on Tuesday.

Mr Shapps said: “Today we’ve detained a £38 million 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 connections to Putin’s regime.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it worked with the National Crime Agency and the Border Force Maritime Investigation Bureau to identify and detain the vessel.

It refused to reveal the name of her owner, stating that he is “a Russian businessman”.

The department described Phi’s ownership as “deliberately well hidden”.

She is registered to a company based in the Caribbean dual-island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, and carries a Maltese flag.

The DfT said it is “looking at a number of other vessels” and hopes its “strong stance sends an example to international partners”.

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