December 2, 2023


A superyacht belonging to Russia’s largest steel pipe manufacturer docked in Gibraltar Monday. The vessel was later detained by authorities.

Western sanctions against Russian oligarchs for Moscow’s invasion in Ukraine have caused a mass exodus luxury yachts out of Europe, with many heading towards the Maldives which does not have an extradition treaty.

TV footage showed “Axioma”, thought to be owned Dmitrievich Pumpyansky of steel group TMK TRMK.MM, moored in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory at the southern tip Iberian peninsula and flying a Maltese Flag.

Britain placed sanctions on hundreds Russian entities and individuals last week, allowing authorities to freeze their assets.

According to Refinitiv data, the vessel measures 72 meters and is owned by Pyrene Investments, a British Virgin Islands holding firm. The Panama Papers leaks included an article by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalismists naming Pumpyansky as the beneficiary of the holding.

Forbes and the specialist publication Superyacht Fan both list him as the Axioma owner.

In a statement, the Gibraltar government stated that the Axioma arrived at port after asking permission and was “confirmed to have been the subject of an arrest by a leading international banking institution in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar”.

It stated that the vessel was now under arrest by the Admiralty Marshall until further orders, but did not specify the legal claims of creditors against it or its owner.

According to Refinitiv shipping data, the Axioma departed Antigua in the Caribbean on February 27, and crossed the Atlantic three times before arriving at Gibraltar.

A vessel connected to Roman Abramovich (the sanctioned owner) of Chelsea football club docked earlier Monday in Bodrum, southwest Turkey.


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