Hong Kong refuses to seize Russian oligarch’s superyacht, citing no legal authority

9 October 2022, 12:34 PM
Alexei Mordashov (Photo:commons.wikimedia.org)

Alexei Mordashov (Photo:commons.wikimedia.org)

The reputation of Hong Kong as one of the world’s leading financial centers could be thrown into doubt if it refuses to apply sanctions to figures close to the regime of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, U.S. authorities have warned.

Hong Kong city authorities have refused to seize a superyacht, called the Nord, which is owned by Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov, the publication Business Insider reported on Oct. 8.

The Nord is a 142-meter-long vessel worth $500 million. It arrived in Hong Kong waters this week.

Hong Kong city authorities said they had no legal authority to impose sanctions on Mordashov, a Russian oligarch known to be close to Russian dictator Putin.

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Mordashov was placed on Western sanctions lists after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The U.S. State Department warned Hong Kong that it could damage its reputation as an international financial center if it harbors sanctioned assets.

"The possible use of Hong Kong as a safe haven by individuals evading sanctions from multiple jurisdictions further calls into question the transparency of the business environment (in the city)," a State Department spokesman said.

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