captain of £38m superyacht delayed in London claimed to be a victim of “PR stunt” and what government has “received wrong guy”.
Sky News received an exclusive access on board Phi 58 m (190 ft) long, which was can’t leave Canary Wharf since March.
The ship is under UK sanctions. against Russia – but its owner, by name on in detention order, like Sergei Naumenko, no on any sanctions list.
“It’s headlines, clickbait, attention grabbers” – Captain Guy Booth, New Zealander, living in UK, according to Sky News.
“Phi is a low hanging fruit, it’s the only Russian boat here.
“It was easy to do for social media.”
The superyacht that features freshwater swimming pool and what is described as an “endless wine cellar” containing 400 bottles, was in London for awards ceremony when he was detained by the National Crime Agency.
detention the order describes Mr. Naumenko as “a person associated with Russia”, which provides a legal basis for in asset be held.
“It’s not fair and the owner doesn’t deserve it,” Booth said, adding that his boss is considering going to court to release the vessel.
He also rejected proposals made Transport Minister Grant Shapps, with whom Mr. Naumenko was associated. Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I think it’s fair and just what they demanded know exactly who owner, source of wealth, where did this boat come from,” Booth said.
“All of what information was granted and not of it binds the owner of boat in any position in Russian politics to Mr Putin or any other political aspiration.”
Little is known about Mr. Naumenko, who declined request to comment. His legal representative told Sky News that he is a retired businessman. who made his money in civil engineering and investment management.
“He had a quiet but successful business life in middle of Russia,” said Sir Ian Collett, managing director director of Ward & McKenzie Yacht Consulting.
government did not confirm the name of superyacht owner, but described her ownership as “intentionally well hidden” at that time of her detention.
According to documents seen by Sky News, Phi is registered with Dalston Projects Limited, a company founded in Caribs dual-Island state of Saint Kitts and Nevis and carries the Maltese flag.
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“This is a perfectly normal structure,” Sir Yang said.
“Mr. Naumenko is called ultimate beneficial owner because now you have to declare ultimate beneficial owner for authorities post- Panama Papers.
“So everything is completely open. There is no sinister undertone in this. in my world swamp-standard practice.”
Because the ship was delayed, not confiscated, Phi’s owner is responsible. for mooring fee of £9,500 a month she spends up.
Department for A transport spokesman said: “We stand firmly on our decision delay assets such as Phi that suit both scope and purpose of sanctions, and will always stand with Ukraine against this vile and illegal war.
” secretary of the state will continue to act within its available ratchet powers up economic pressure on Russia and make life harder for Russian elites.