A mysterious superyacht that is moored off the western coast of Italy is now under investigation by Italian authorities for potential links to Russians sanctioned by authorities amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The 459-foot-long yacht known as “Scheherazade” — after the iconic Persian queen from literature — is allegedly owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin, an anti-corruption unit of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny recently claimed in a video obtained by the Times of London.
The vessel, which has been undergoing repairs at the Marina di Carrara in Tuscany, is estimated to have cost £500 million ($660 million), but some unnamed insiders believe its price is closer to £750 million ($990 million), the New York Post reported.
Photos of the six-deck superyacht obtained by The Sun show its amenities, which include a 16-foot aquarium and multiple televisions, including a 15-foot one spanning an entire wall.
The watercraft also boasts a self-leveling pool table, a tile dance floor that converts into a pool and gold taps and toilet paper holders.
The superyacht also has “countless swimming pools, a spa, a sauna, a theater, ballrooms, a gym [and] two helipads” capable of landing military helicopters, The Sun quoted an unnamed worker reportedly involved in its construction as saying.
“It’s like a mini city,” the worker claimed.
Underneath one helipad is a hangar big enough to house a helicopter, six Jet Skis, five dinghies and eight Seabob underwater scooters, the outlet reported.
The ship’s highly sophisticated security system with four radars is capable of shooting down drones, according to the report.
“Every surface is either marble or gold,” an unnamed boatbuilder told The Sun.
“It is hard to swallow the fact that the most incredible ship in the world is owned by a man intent on bombing civilians in Ukraine,” he continued. “And it is an unimaginable amount of wealth when the average Russian’s salary is £5,000 ($6,595) a year, and people there are struggling to eat.”
Scheherazade’s captain, Guy Bennett-Pearce, a British national, has denied that Putin owned or had ever been on the yacht.
However, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, or FBK, of Navalny claimed in their recent video that nearly half the crew of the German-built yacht are employed by the Federal Security Service (FSO), which handles security for Putin, according to the Times of London.
During an address to the Italian parliament Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged them to seize the yacht, claiming that Putin and his wealthy supporters often vacationed in Italy, The Guardian reported.
“Don’t be a resort for murderers,” he said. “Lock all their real estate, accounts and yachts – from the Scheherazade to the smallest ones.”
In early March, Italian police seized a yacht owned by Alexei Mordashov, the richest man in Russia before being blacklisted by the European Union, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the matter.
They reportedly also seized a yacht owned by billionaire Gennady Timchenko, who is a close ally of Putin.
The post Inside Putin’s $700 Million Yacht With ‘Countless Swimming Pools,’ Theater And Helipads appeared first on International Business Times.