Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov was put on Britain’s sanctions list last night when Vladimir Putin’s cronies had their beloved superyachts impounded.
Usmanov, financed by Everton FCA travel ban was imposed on him and his assets frozen.
Igor Shuvalov55, chairman of Vnesheconombank and former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, was also sanctioned.
The move against the pair, worth a total of £14billion, came as other oligarchs fled to the safe haven of the Maldives in their luxury boats.
The multi-million pound luxury ships hid in the territorial waters surrounding paradise in the Indian Ocean last night.
There they are considered free from US extradition treaties The West is pushing because of Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Five luxury boats worth £605million owned by some of Russia’s richest and most powerful men sailed safely around the islands yesterday.
And more are expected to join them in the coming days.
But before Britain yesterday put Usmanov on the sanctions list, Germany seized his £437million, 512ft Dilbar yacht at a shipyard in Hamburg.
His company sponsored Everton’s training ground and he had exclusive naming rights to the club’s new stadium. Usmanov, 68, also owns the mansion Beechwood House in Highgate, north London, which is worth an estimated £48million, and the 16th-century country estate Sutton Place in Surrey.
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But he can no longer visit or sell them.
Shuvalov’s UK fortune includes two luxury apartments in central London, valued at an estimated £11million.
The Foreign Office said he was a “core member of Putin’s inner circle and led Russia’s bid for the 2018 World Cup.” No British citizen or British company can handle them.
Boris Johnson said: “As long as Putin continues his barbaric attack on innocent Ukrainianswe will continue to use every force we have to inflict maximum economic pain on Putin and his war machine.”
Secretary of State Liz Truss will also set up an oligarchic task force of ministers to crack down on the rogue agents.
She said: “Our message to Putin and his allies was clear from day one – to invade Ukraine would have serious and crippling economic consequences.
“The sanctioning of Usmanov and Shuvalov sends a clear message that we will meet oligarchs and individuals closely associated with the Putin regime and its barbaric war. We won’t stop here. Our goal is to cripple the Russian economy and starve out Putin’s war machine.”
The Foreign Office added that Britain would continue to step up pressure and use sanctions to “degrade the Russian economy on a scale never before seen by the Kremlin or any other major economy”.
But still Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, 55, who launched the club, is not going to be sanctioned.
His promise to give away the net proceeds of the Chelsea sale was branded a meaningless scam by Britain’s Security Secretary Damian Hinds. He claimed, “You can define net proceeds in a number of ways, as any corporate financier would tell you.”
Dominic Raab said Britain is ready to throw Putin in a British prison if he is found guilty of a war crime.
The deputy prime minister warned the Russian despot and his generals of “the dock of a court in The Hague and prison” for the slaughter of innocents.
Mr Raab added: “However long it takes, if you commit a war crime on Ukrainian soil, you must expect to be held accountable.”
The International Criminal Court is investigating war crimes against Russia.
Mr Raab, who used to prosecute war criminals, promised Britain to help the ICC in any way he could. He added, “We do this by assisting the court in everything from information collaboration, witness relocation, forensics to sentencing.”
Authorities in France yesterday raided the £90million, 290ft Amore Vero owned by energy magnate and Putin ally Igor Sechin on the French Riviera.
Sechin, chairman of the Rosneft oil company, was President Putin’s deputy prime minister for four years and is considered a close confidante.
His ship Amore Vero was stopped in the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat near Marseille, where it had been since January 3.
The owners of the five superyachts in the Maldives are aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, 54; Russia’s second richest man Vladimir Potanin, who is worth £20 billion; steel magnate Viktor Rashnikov, 73; steelmaker Alexander Abramov, 63; and tobacco magnate Igor Kesaev, 55. Abramovich is known to own four megayachts.
Usmanov, described as one of Putin’s “favorite oligarchs,” suspended his firm’s “commercial sponsorship deals” with Everton on Wednesday.
Everton yesterday reiterated that it had cut ties with its companies and hit out at the “appalling events in Ukraine”.
A statement read: “The club can confirm that it has suspended all commercial sponsorship agreements with Russian companies USM, MegaFon and Yota.”
PUTIN pal Alisher Usmanov’s mobile phone company branding has been removed from Everton’s Goodison Park.
The club removed MegaFon signs overnight after cutting commercial ties to it on Wednesday.
Deals with Usmanov’s USM Holdings and Everton Women sponsor Yota, part of MegaFon, have been frozen.
USM began a five-year sponsorship of Everton’s training ground in 2017, worth about £12million a year. It also paid £30m for an initial naming rights option for the new stadium.
The 68-year-old ex-Arsenal shareholder Usmanov is worth £12bn and owns two £100m properties.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/4817890/vladimir-putins-cronies-have-superyachts-seized/ Vladimir Putin’s cronies have seized £605million worth of superyachts from the West