A superyacht linked to the sanctioned Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov departed from Hong Kong on Thursday, about two weeks following the US accusing the city of functioning as a haven for sanctioned people. It was sailing toward South Africa.
The marine department reportedly confirmed that the $500 million superyacht Nord departed from Hong Kong on Thursday at noon. The ship-tracking website MarineTraffic mentioned that it was apparently bound for South Africa and was also expected to arrive in Cape Town on 9 November.
The Nord reached Hong Kong on 5 October from Russia’s Vladivostok, putting the Chinese territory in the crosshairs of China-US tensions.
The US State Department has reportedly commented on the presence in Hong Kong of the assets that belong to sanctioned people. It has called into question the “transparency of the business environment” of the city.
Hong Kong’s leader, John Lee, later said that while Hong Kong complies with the UN sanctions, authorities cannot do anything that lacks a legal basis when it comes to those sanctions that are unilaterally placed by any other jurisdictions. The Foreign Ministry of China reportedly referred to the US remarks as “misleading.”
Mordashov, believed to maintain close ties to Russia’s President Putin, is one of the oligarchs sanctioned by the UK, US, and the EU following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He has also tried challenging the sanctions placed against him in European courts.
He is Severstal’s primary shareholder and chairman, the largest steel and mining firm in Russia. Mordashov is one of the wealthiest men in Russia. Bloomberg estimates his net worth to be more than $19 billion.
European and US authorities have so far managed to seize over a dozen yachts that the sanctioned tycoons of Russia own to prevent them from entering ports that are unaffected due to the sanctions.
Russian oligarchs have begun docking yachts at ports in Turkey and other nations, keeping diplomatic ties with Russia.
The Nord, which flies the flag of Russia, is reportedly 141.6 meters in length and boasts two helipads, a swimming pool, and 20 cabins.
References: Reuters, Yahoo! News