Gibraltar to auction seized Russian oligarch’s yacht 

Gibraltar to auction seized Russian oligarch’s yacht 

A Gibraltar court has ordered the sale of a superyacht belonging to Russian oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky seized in March under sanctions imposed on Moscow over of the war in Ukraine.

Authorities in the tiny British enclave on the southern tip of southern Spain impounded 72-metre (236-foot) vessel MV Axioma following a complaint filed by US bank JP Morgan.

In December 2021, the lender granted a loan of 20.5 million euros ($21.7 million) to a company registered in the British Virgin Islands whose shareholders included a Cypriot firm owned by Pumpyansky.

JP Morgan considered the inclusion of Pumpyansky on Britain’s sanctions list a breach of the loan contract since it led to the freezing of his assets.

As a result, the bank asked authorities to seize the Malta-flagged yacht, which was listed as one of the loan guarantees, and requested that it be sold to repay the loan.

The Supreme Court of Gibraltar ordered the yacht be sold at auction “for the highest price that can be obtained” in a ruling dated June 14 that was made public on Monday.

Pumpyansky, the owner of Russian steel pipemaker TMK, is also the target of European Union sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Authorities in Spain, Italy and France have also impounded yachts with links to Russian oligarchs as part of Europe’s efforts to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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