The conflict in Ukraine seems to be hurting everyone except the people it should be — mainly Putin and his band of oligarchs. But as The Guardian reports, the sanctioning of Oligarchs, their yachts, and other assets has spilled over onto the crews maintaining them. The United Kingdom’s foreign office is now preparing to sanction the crews of these vehicles to keep them from being maintained.
The sanctions come as yacht crews on other seized vessels around the world seem to be protecting the owners of the boat by doing things like refusing to give up their bosses’ identities.
UK officials seized the Phi, a $50 million 192 foot long superyacht in London’s Canary Wharf on March 29th. Nothing is known about the owner, as the captain of the vessel has ignored requests for comments regarding the owner’s identity. The Phi so far remains the only Russian yacht seized by UK officials. Sources close to the matter informed The Guardian that the owner isn’t facing sanctions himself, though I think that may have more to do with the fact that they have no idea who he is.
The move to sanction the crews is more of an effort to keep the vessels from being maintained. A nice way of saying that officials want to turn these ships into scrap. These sanctions would also cover crews of the oligarch’s private jets. And if these billionaires wanted to be slick and try to just hire new help? Nope, that won’t work either. These sanctions will also prevent Oligarchs from hiring new staff or flying their assets out of UK jurisdiction.
So far, there have been nearly 10 superyachts seized since the beginning of March.