Several foreign news agencies have reported that yachts of Russian oligarch’s have been diverted to the Maldives as various nations imposes sanctions on Russia and those who support President Vladimir Putin.
The luxury yacht Cilo belonging to the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, docked in Maldives on Monday, when United States imposed sanctions after Russia invaded Ukraine. The owner of the USD 100 million (MVR 1.5 billion) vessel registered on Cayman Islands is an aluminum trader. The US had previously imposed sanctions on him in 2018 as well.
Additionally, Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has confirmed steel businessman Alexander Ibrahimov’s superyacht Titan was also in Maldives. The vessel is valued at USD 30 million (MVR 463 million). CNBC had reported that two more yachts belonging to Russian businessmen have started their journey to Maldives.
As there is no extradition agreement between Maldives and US, US lacks the legal jurisdiction to take legal action.
Maldives had become a favoured destination amongst Ukrainian and Russian tourists after Maldives reopened its borders, following the closure in 2020 after Covid-19 had spread, an official told Mihaaru news.
The official told AFP that Russia invading Ukraine will affect Maldives’ economy as well, as both countries had been a vital market to Maldives in terms of tourist arrivals.
He said 20,973 Russians visited the Maldives in January, the largest single group, while Ukrainians were sixth with 7,210.