The British government has ordered the detention of the 58.5-meter Royal Huisman M/Y Phi as she attempted to depart from London on March 29.
A statement issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) links the yacht to a "Russian businessman," but does not specify the owner or whether they were subject to economic sanctions by the British government.
Phi, which is currently moored in Canary Wharf in the capital’s business district, is the first yacht to be seized in UK waters following the seizure of a number of luxury vessels in the Mediterranean.
The yacht has been in London since November and was planning to depart at midday on March 29 when she was boarded by government officials and issued a notice of detention.
With the assistance of the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force Maritime Intelligence Bureau, the Department for Transport (DfT) was able to identify and detain the vessel under the Russia Sanctions (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.
The statement by the DfT said: “It was first identified as being possibly Russian owned on March 13, and a relentless investigation has finally led to its detention … [We] hope our strong stance sends an example to international partners."