Mystery Russian's £38m superyacht with 'infinite wine cellar' seized in Canary Wharf

29 March 2022, 14:57 | Updated: 29 March 2022, 15:46

The yacht was detained in Canary Wharf
The yacht was detained in Canary Wharf. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A £38 million superyacht owned by a Russian businessman has been seized in Canary Wharf.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps ordered the detention of the yacht, named Phi after the mathematical concept, which was in the capital for a superyacht awards ceremony.

The boat has an "infinite wine cellar" and a freshwater swimming pool.

It was planning to depart at noon on Tuesday, but Mr Shapps said he took action due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Today we've detained a £38 million superyacht and turned an icon of Russia's power and wealth into a clear and stark warning to Putin and his cronies," he said.

"Detaining the Phi, proves, yet again, that we can and will take the strongest possible action against those seeking to benefit from connections to Putin's regime."

The DfT said it was not disclosing the identity of the owner.

Superyacht owned by Russian businessman detained in London

Phi is the first ship to be held in the UK as part of punishments against Moscow for invading Ukraine.

She is bright blue and features what is described as an "infinite wine cellar" and a freshwater swimming pool.

At 58.5 metres long, she is twice as long as the other boats docked around her in Canary Wharf.

Read more: London Stands with Ukraine: Protesters show support one month on from Russian invasion

Read more: 'Blood money': Ukrainian MP slams Sunak's wife for Russian operation

Mr Shapps said the ship was in London for a "refit" but "won't be going anywhere".

"It's just another indication that we will not stand by whilst Putin's cronies are allowed to sail around the world in these kinds of yachts and people in Ukraine are suffering," he said.

"When you see what he's doing to Ukraine, when you see what he's doing to people's lives, it can't be right to have a yacht like this here in London, able to just sail away, and that is why we've impounded it and denied its ability to go anywhere right now."

The vessel has a swimming pool and a wine cellar on board
The vessel has a swimming pool and a wine cellar on board. Picture: Alamy
The yacht is worth nearly £40 million
The yacht is worth nearly £40 million. Picture: Getty

The vessel's horn was sounded twice while the Cabinet minister was being interviewed.

Someone thought to be a member of crew stuck a paper sign reading "P&O JUSTICE FOR THE 800" to the side of the boat, after P&O Ferries sacked nearly 800 seafarers without notice.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it worked with the National Crime Agency and the Border Force Maritime Investigation Bureau to identify and detain Phi.

Read more: Abramovich returns for peace talks as delegates told don't eat, drink or touch anything

Read more: Andrew Marr: Is Joe Biden losing it - and how does the West want this war to end?

It refused to reveal the name of her owner, stating that he is "a Russian businessman".

The department described Phi's ownership as "deliberately well hidden".

She is registered to a company based in the Caribbean dual-island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, and carries a Maltese flag.

The DfT said it is "looking at a number of other vessels" and hopes its "strong stance sends an example to international partners".

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The groom reportedly found out 12 days after getting married.

Shocked groom finds out ‘wife’ is a man who was dressing as a woman just 12 days after getting married

Israel soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border

Two Israeli soldiers killed in West Bank car-ramming attack

Election volunteers count ballots in Johannesburg

Early South Africa election results put ruling ANC below 50%

Breaking
King to take part in Trooping the Colour ceremony but will inspect soldiers from carriage

King to take part in Trooping the Colour ceremony but will inspect soldiers from carriage

Diego Maradona and West Germany goalkeeper Harald Schumacher with their World Cup trophies in 1986

Maradona’s heirs lose court bid to block sale of World Cup Golden Ball trophy

An Israeli armored vehicle is seen near the border with Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, on May 29, 2024

Israel shoots down cruise missile ‘fired from Iraq’ as IDF seizes control of entire length of Gaza's border with Egypt

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

Spain parliament gives final approval to amnesty law for Catalonia separatists

A Shiite Muslim holds a photograph of late Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi

Iran opens registration for presidential election after Raisi’s helicopter death

Geri Halliwell had an awkward faux pas on her Instagram.

‘Sent images to Pippa’: Geri Halliwell's birthday tribute to Mel B goes viral after awkward PR gaffe

Attendees at the 10th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum

China’s Xi pledges more Gaza aid and talks trade at summit with Arab leaders

Bernard, 41, and Ann McDonagh, 39, both of Sandfields, Port Talbot

Moment 'Britain's worst dine-and-dash couple' arrested by police after racking up nearly £1,200 in unpaid food bills

Lawrence Lau outside West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts

Hong Kong court convicts 14 pro-democracy activists in national security case

File image of KLM Cityhopper departing from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Witnesses tell of 'hellish noise' as person 'sucked into plane engine' at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport

The bodies of Tom Parry, 49, and his son Richie, 12 have been found

Two bodies found in search for father and son, 12, who went missing on walk in Scottish Highlands

Exclusive
'What on earth are they doing?!': Chancellor slams junior doctors' strike before election as 'political football'

'What on earth are they doing?!': Chancellor slams junior doctors' strike before election as 'political football'

The watch firm where Oliver White had been working before he became a victim in a £2.8 raid has said he 'shouldn't have been left alone'.

Watch dealer 'should never have been left alone' in store - as hunt continues for suspects who posed as wealthy clients