- A $400 million yacht tied to a Russian oligarch is sailing towards Turkey, per ship-tracking data.
- The US held it in the Dominican Republic over allegations of money laundering and arms trafficking, per local reports.
- The yacht departed on April 22 without a destination, local media reported.
A luxury yacht linked to a Russian oligarch is heading in the direction of Turkey after it was reportedly investigated by the US over accusations of arms trafficking and money laundering.
The Flying Fox, a 446-foot vessel worth $400 million, is owned by Dmitry Kamenshchik, according to media reports. Kamenshchik, chairman of Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, has a
of $2.1 billion, per Forbes.
The superyacht was first anchored on March 21 in Port Don Diego in the Dominican Republic for one month before it set sail on April 22 with no destination, local newspapers Dominican Today and Diario Libre reported.
At time of writing, Flying Fox was sailing east off the coast of Algeria, its nose pointed towards Turkey, according to ship-tracking data by Marine Traffic. The destination port was “not recognized,” on Marine Traffic’s site.
Turkey’s government hasn’t sanctioned Russia over its war in Ukraine, meaning that Russian oligarchs’ assets are safe from seizure in the country. Over the past few months, Turkey has become a popular destination for Russian oligarchs’ yachts to moor and avoid sanctions, including Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska’s vessels.
When the Flying Fox was docked in Port Don Diego in March, authorities from the US and the Dominican Republic boarded the yacht to carry out a search for alleged trafficking and money laundering, Diario Libre and Dominican Today reported. The authorities then seized the yacht, per both reports.
Luis Abinader, president of the Dominican Republic, said if there were no findings from the investigation of the Flying Fox, the authorities would release the yacht, Diario Libre reported.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to Dominican Today that the Flying Fox had left the port in April but workers in the port told the online newspaper and Diario Libre that they were unaware of where the yacht was headed to.
The US Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the ministry for the president of the Republic didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The Flying Fox was rumored to belong to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, but a representative of the retail giant told Insider in August 2019 that it wasn’t his vessel. The superyacht features a large swimming pool, a cinema, a hospital, and two helipads, per SuperYacht Fan.