(Bloomberg) -- A growing number of superyachts belonging to Russian tycoons have made their way to the Indian Ocean, cruising around the Maldives and Seychelles just as sanctions are imposed on their homeland following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The four biggest luxury yachts in the Maldives right now are Russian-owned, according to an analysis of vessel data by Bloomberg News. The largest, the 459-foot (140-meter) Ocean Victory, belongs to steel magnate Victor Rashnikov, according to SuperyachtFan.com, while another -- the 238-foot Clio -- is linked to aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska.
The 465-foot Nord, owned by Alexei Mordashov, another steel billionaire, is in the Seychelles after sailing from the Maldives, the data show. Russian banker Andrey Kostin’s Sea Rhapsody is heading to the island chain after departing Turkey on Feb. 18.
An estimated 7% to 10% of the global superyacht fleet is owned by Russians, according to industry watcher Superyacht Group. Overall yacht counts have dipped to 10 from 19 this time last year in the Maldives, while they’ve climbed from five to 12 in the Seychelles, a former British colony known for its palm-fringed islands and sandy beaches.
The movements come as the U.S. signals it will take aim at Russian business leaders’ assets as part of its economic campaign against Moscow over the invasion. In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Joe Biden said that the U.S. and its allies are preparing to seize the yachts, luxury apartments and private jets of wealthy, politically connected Russians.
“We are coming for your ill-begotten gains,” Biden said.
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