Mystery £532m superyacht rumoured to be Putins swarmed by Italian cops

Italian officials are investigating the ownership of a superyacht anchored on the Tuscan coast.

The yacht, worth £532 million, and measuring a staggering 459 feet, is believed to be owned by Russian president Vladimir Putin, but has never been confirmed.

But now Italian law enforcement has been spotted swarming the boat, called Scheherazade, in an attempt to clarify the situation.

The boat's captain Guy Bennett-Pearce told the New York Times: “They are looking hard.

“They are looking at every aspect.

“This isn’t the local coppers coming down, these are men in dark suits – I had no choice but to hand over documents.

“I have never seen him. I have never met him.

“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this will clear the vessel of all negative rumours and speculations”

If it's proven to be owned by the man who ordered the invasion of Ukraine, the boat will be seized as part of a Europe-wide crackdown on Russia and Russian assets.

It comes off the back of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich – who is a known close ally of Putin – being been sanctioned by the UK government early today due to his ties to the president.

The UK government said it was targeting him for being one of the "few oligarchs from the 1990s to maintain prominence under Putin" and his stakes in steel company Evraz, and the sanction has significant consequences for Chelsea.

Evraz steel – it is claimed – is used to make the Russian tanks currently attempting to sweep across Ukraine in Vladimir Putin's bloody war.

Abramovich is known to have ties to Putin, according to an 2021 High Court hearing in which a judge said the Chelsea owner had "very good relations" with and "privileged access to" the Russian president.

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