Mystery Russian’s £38 million superyacht with ‘infinite wine cellar’ seized by UK government
Ownership of the £38 million superyacht Phi, which boasts a freshwater swimming pool and “infinite wine cellar” is shrouded in secrecy.
Though the Department for Transport (DfT) refused to reveal the identity of the owner of the Phi superyacht, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the individual was not currently sanctioned but did have “close connections” to Vladimir Putin.
The DfT said ownership of the Phi was “deliberately well hidden”, with her being registered to a company based in the dual-island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, carrying a Maltese flag.
The DfT said it was also “looking at a number of other vessels” and that it hoped its “strong stance sends an example to international partners”.
The 58.5m (192ft) Phi boasts a number of luxurious features that include a freshwater swimming pool, an upper deck “penthouse” and an “infinite wine cellar” according to manufacturer Royal Huisman’s website.
MP Grant Shapps said the Phi was in London for a “refit” but won’t be going “anywhere right now”.
“It’s just another indication that we will not stand by whilst Putin’s cronies are allowed to sail around the world in these kinds of yachts and people in Ukraine are suffering,” he said per LBC.
“When you see what he’s doing to Ukraine, when you see what he’s doing to people’s lives, it can’t be right to have a yacht like this here in London, able to just sail away, and that is why we’ve impounded it and denied its ability to go anywhere right now.”
UK officials boarded the Phi in East London’s Canary Wharf on Tuesday. The vessel was reportedly due to depart at 12:00.