The news was confirmed by Ferdinando Giugliano, media advisor to Italy's prime minister Mario Draghi, who linked the yachts to Alexey Mordashov (Lady M) and Gennady Timchenko (Lena) after they were named on the European Union's list of sanctioned individuals released on February 28.
The Guardia di Finanza was spotted boarding both vessels moored in their respective ports on Italy's Ligurian coastline last week. According to the ports the yachts are now guarded round the clock by the local law enforcement.
Lady M, the larger of the two, was built as the flagship of American shipyard Palmer Johnson in 2013 and was lying in the Port of Imperia when the sanctions were announced by the European Union. The Italian government believe the boat to be owned by Mordashov, who is the primary shareholder and chairman of Russia's largest steel and mining company Severstal. In a document released by EU officials, he was accused of "benefiting from links with Russian decision-makers". Port officials were not prepared to comment.
In a statement reported by Forbes and the Russian media, Mordashov denied his involvement in Russian politics and called for an end to the war in Ukraine.Read More/86m Amore Vero seized in France under EU sanctions against Russia
The Italian government named Timchenko as the owner of Lena, a 40.8 metre Italian vessel built by shipyard Sanlorenzo and delivered in 2010. She was seized on Friday (March 5) while moored in Portosole Sanremo. Timchenko is the founder of one of the largest investment groups in Russia and shareholder of Bank Rossiya. He appears on EU, UK and US sanction lists and is also accused of benefitting from links with Russian decision-makers. "It’s a new and different situation for everybody," said a spokesperson at Portosole Sanremo. "We hope the best and that everything will end soon."Read More/Superyachts and sanctions: EU bans importation of Russian steel
Lady M and Lena are understood to be the second and third boats to be confiscated in Europe after the 86 metre Amore Vero was seized by officials in France in La Ciotat on March 2. Meanwhile, German authorities have denied reports that the 156 metre Lürssen motor yacht Dilbar has been seized in Hamburg.Read More/Superyacht industry reacts to Russia-Ukraine crisis