Russian billionaire Usmanov's yacht stuck in Hamburg shipyard

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Putin and Russian businessman Usmanov attend an awarding ceremony in Moscow
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BERLIN (Reuters) - A luxury yacht linked to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who faces EU sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, is sitting in a shipyard in the German port of Hamburg and local authorities said there were no plans to deliver it to its owner.

Hamburg authorities denied that they had seized the more-than-500-foot (150 meter) Dilbar superyacht, which boasts a 25-meter swimming pool and is worth nearly $600 million. Forbes had reported on Wednesday that it had been undergoing a refit in the shipyards of Blohm + Voss and that the German government had frozen the asset.

"No yachts have been confiscated," a spokesperson for Hamburg's economic authority said, adding: "I am not aware that a delivery of the yacht to its owner is currently planned."

Reuters video showed a vessel wrapped in white covers in the Blohm + Voss shipyard.

A representative of Usmanov declined to comment.

Separately on Thursday, French authorities took control of a yacht they said belonged to Rosneft boss Igor Sechin.

Germany's General Customs Office said it could not comment publicly on operational measures.

A spokesperson for Blohm + Voss declined to comment, saying only that all orders and projects of its owners, the Luerssen Group, and its subsidiaries were treated in accordance with the legal situation.

The EU imposed sanctions on the Russian tycoon and metals magnate and 25 other prominent people for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to a decision published in the EU's official journal.

Delivered in 2016, Dilbar is the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage, according to the Luerssen website. Among its recreational facilities is the largest-ever pool to have been installed on a yacht.

At least five superyachts owned by Russian billionaires were anchored or cruising on Wednesday in Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, ship tracking data showed.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Jan Schwartz and Moscow bureau; Editing by Howard Goller, Frank Jack Daniel and Daniel Wallis)