Middle East

US Eyes $156 Million Yacht in Dubai Linked to a Russian Oligarch


At the Mina Rashid Marina, soon after Aggreko was contacted by The Times, workers removed the generator. “Having identified that the generator was being used to power a vessel that is allegedly connected to a sanctioned person, we immediately terminated this rental and have since recovered the generator,” the company said in a statement.

Mr. Mirza, the DP World spokesman, said the Aggreko generator had been replaced with one from a local supplier.

P&O Marinas arranged for the diesel generator to provide power for the Madame Gu because that part of the pier, a holding area, has no shore-supplied electric power, said a port official in Dubai, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the press.

“At the end of the day, if the U.A.E. hasn’t imposed sanctions, it’s not really their job to enforce other countries’ laws within their borders,” said Nabeel Yousef, a Washington-based partner at the law firm Freshfields, where he runs the sanctions practice. Nevertheless, “companies should not take comfort in the fact that their country has not imposed sanctions,” he added, “because even the smallest connection to the U.S. can lead to U.S. penalties.”

There has also been a notable absence onboard the Madame Gu in recent weeks: a flag. Unlike other ships moored nearby, including the Quantum Blue, a superyacht linked to the billionaire Sergei Galitsky, the Madame Gu appears to be stateless, apparently having been deflagged by the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands officials didn’t respond to an emailed inquiry about the ship’s status.

If DP World were to face fallout from U.S. sanctions enforcers, it wouldn’t be the first time the company has been the focus of attention in Washington. In 2006, DP World was seeking to manage some terminal operations at six American ports but dropped out of the deal after a bipartisan uproar in Congress.

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Anton Troianovski contributed reporting from Turin, Italy, and Oleg Matsnev from Berlin.



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