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As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday urged Italy to seize a £500million superyacht believed to be owned by Vladimir Putin, the mother of the ship’s British captain Guy Bennett-Pearce said her son would never work for a ‘murderer’. 

Scheherazade, which is currently docked for repairs in Tuscany, is said to be staffed by Putin’s ‘personal guards’ and owned by him through a secretive shell company – but Mr Guy Bennett-Pearce has denied ever seeing Putin on board. 

Last night his mother Debbie told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I don’t think for one second that Guy would work for that – whatever you want to call him…murderer.’ 

This comes as Roman Abramovich seeks safe havens for his boats and has moved two of his superyachts to Turkey, while vessels owned by oligarchs are reportedly being seized or remain trapped in docks, with sanctions beginning to bite.  

The multi-million-dollar yacht Scheherazade, docked at the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara, Tuscany, on March 22

The multi-million-dollar yacht Scheherazade, docked at the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara, Tuscany, on March 22

The multi-million-dollar yacht Scheherazade, docked at the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara, Tuscany, on March 22

Scheherazade, which is currently docked for repairs in Tuscany, is said to be staffed by Putin’s ‘personal guards’

Scheherazade, which is currently docked for repairs in Tuscany, is said to be staffed by Putin’s ‘personal guards’

Scheherazade, which is currently docked for repairs in Tuscany, is said to be staffed by Putin’s ‘personal guards’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday urged Italy to seize a £500million superyacht thought to be owned by Vladimir Putin (pictured)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday urged Italy to seize a £500million superyacht thought to be owned by Vladimir Putin (pictured)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday urged Italy to seize a £500million superyacht thought to be owned by Vladimir Putin (pictured)

In a speech to the Italian parliament, Mr Zelensky said the country must freeze all assets that belong to Russia’s elite.

He insisted: ‘Freeze their properties, their accounts, their yachts – from Scheherazade to the smallest.’ 

Italian police are currently investigating the ownership of the 460ft vessel, which is said to have a built-in weapon system able to shoot down drones.

The 430ft-long Solaris, which cost £430million, is the newest addition to the Abramovich fleet after taking to the seas last year

The 430ft-long Solaris, which cost £430million, is the newest addition to the Abramovich fleet after taking to the seas last year

The 430ft-long Solaris, which cost £430million, is the newest addition to the Abramovich fleet after taking to the seas last year

A group of Ukrainians on a small boat tries to block Solaris, a yacht belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich

A group of Ukrainians on a small boat tries to block Solaris, a yacht belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich

A group of Ukrainians on a small boat tries to block Solaris, a yacht belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich, pictured, has moved two of his superyachts to Turkey as he seeks a haven to protect his fortune from sanctions

Roman Abramovich, pictured, has moved two of his superyachts to Turkey as he seeks a haven to protect his fortune from sanctions

Roman Abramovich, pictured, has moved two of his superyachts to Turkey as he seeks a haven to protect his fortune from sanctions

According to the Telegraph, locals in Marina de Carrara are convinced the superyacht belongs to Putin.

Giorgio Petri, 72, told the paper: ‘There’s nothing official, of course, but all the locals say that it is Putin’s. Just look at it.’ 

Italian newspaper La Stampa in an investigation last month linked the yacht to Kazakhstan-born Eduard Yurievich Khudainatov, Former Deputy Chairman-Mgmt Board of Rosneft, Russia’s state energy company.

However the journalist behind the work, Jacopo Iacoboni, said ‘he seems to be a man connected with Putin’s inner circle but not so rich as to own a yacht like the Scheherazade’, the Guardian reports. 

Abramovich’s Solaris has been joined by the giant Eclipse vessel as the Chelsea owner seeks to avoid their seizure in the country which has said it has no plans to implement sanctions.

Abramovich is believed to have been in Istanbul last week but not on board either yacht as they arrived in Turkey. 

The 430ft-long Solaris, which cost £430million, is the newest addition to the Abramovich fleet after taking to the seas last year.

It has 48 cabins across eight decks, a crew of 60 and space for 36 guests who can make use of a helipad and beach club area.

Designed by Australian Marc Newson and built by a German shipyard, it features the largest panes of glass ever built into a yacht.

A luxury yacht belonging to sanctioned Russian steel magnate Dmitry Pumpyansky last night remained seized in Gibraltar

A luxury yacht belonging to sanctioned Russian steel magnate Dmitry Pumpyansky last night remained seized in Gibraltar

A luxury yacht belonging to sanctioned Russian steel magnate Dmitry Pumpyansky last night remained seized in Gibraltar

Pumpyansky, pictured, worth an estimated £1.8billion, has been sanctioned by the UK and EU

Pumpyansky, pictured, worth an estimated £1.8billion, has been sanctioned by the UK and EU

Pumpyansky, pictured, worth an estimated £1.8billion, has been sanctioned by the UK and EU

Its sister vessel Eclipse, one of the world’s biggest yachts at 533ft long, is reported to have built-in missile defences.

A luxury yacht belonging to sanctioned Russian steel magnate Dmitry Pumpyansky last night remained seized in Gibraltar.

Authorities in the British overseas territory detained the £57million Axioma after it docked there on Monday.

Pumpyansky, worth an estimated £1.8billion, has been sanctioned by the UK and EU.

The Gibraltar government said the Axioma had asked for permission to dock and ‘was confirmed to be the subject of an arrest action by a leading international bank in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar. The vessel is now subject to arrest by the Admiralty Marshal until further order.’

It had left Antigua on February 27. The Axioma has five decks, which include a cinema and swimming pool.

It has previously been available to charter privately at a cost of £420,000 a week.

The 223ft-long converted icebreaker Ragnar has been docked in Narvik since February 15 – snubbed by suppliers in protest over the Ukraine invasion

The 223ft-long converted icebreaker Ragnar has been docked in Narvik since February 15 – snubbed by suppliers in protest over the Ukraine invasion

The 223ft-long converted icebreaker Ragnar has been docked in Narvik since February 15 – snubbed by suppliers in protest over the Ukraine invasion

Mining tycoon Strzhalkovsky (pictured), 67, is not subject to sanctions, but is thought to be still linked to Vladimir Putin after they served together in the KGB

Mining tycoon Strzhalkovsky (pictured), 67, is not subject to sanctions, but is thought to be still linked to Vladimir Putin after they served together in the KGB

Mining tycoon Strzhalkovsky (pictured), 67, is not subject to sanctions, but is thought to be still linked to Vladimir Putin after they served together in the KGB

The 236ft yacht has played host to British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton and Kendall Jenner, half-sister of reality TV star Kim Kardashian.

The £58million superyacht owned by ex-KGB officer Vladimir Strzhalkovsky is trapped in Norway – not by sanctions, but by locals who refuse to sell him fuel.

The 223ft-long converted icebreaker Ragnar has been docked in Narvik since February 15 – snubbed by suppliers in protest over the Ukraine invasion.

Mining tycoon Strzhalkovsky, 67, is not subject to sanctions, but is thought to be still linked to Vladimir Putin after they served together in the KGB.

Local oil supplier Sven Holmlund said: ‘Why should we help them? Let them row home or hoist sails!’

The yacht’s British captain Robert Lankester has pointed out that none of the crew is Russian, insisting: ‘We have nothing to do with the owner.’

The crew were hoping for an imminent departure last night after they found a supplier for 300,000 litres of diesel for the vessel which is kitted out with jet-skis, snowmobiles and an English-style pub.

Source: dailymail

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