The funds for the yacht are likely to have come from government corruption
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Leeuwarder Courant, the shipbuilder Feadship (based in Makkum) is coming under the spotlight for a 150 million euro superyacht it built in 2015 for Viktor Medvedchuk.
The information has come from research via the journalistic data platform Pointer.
Thanks to a new anti-corruption law in Ukraine, Pointer has been able to link the super-yacht with the ‘businessman’ and politician. Due to his role in the suppression of anti-government protests in 2013 and the Russian-led invasion of Crimea in 2014, Medvedchuk has been sanctioned by Canada, Australia, and the US. The sanctions bar him from entry to those countries, froze his assets, and (theoretically) prevent any companies from those countries doing business with him.
Though the sanctions do not directly apply to Dutch companies, Feadship could get into trouble if it is found that any American components were used in ‘Royal Romance’, or if any of its 1,800 employees travel to America. Employees could then be held in American due to their involvement with a sanctioned person.
‘Sanction rights’ lawyer Paul Verloop says: “the US government has said that it will also enforce sanctions outside of America, so for example if there are any US-made parts in the ship they can go after it.”
Pointer has strong evidence that Medvedchuk used criminally-obtained money to buy the ship. In same anti-corruption papers, the oligarch is said to have a yearly income of 2.5 million euros. Additionally, his role in the 2014 Crimea conflict also links him to the downing of flight MH17, and the attempted murder of an anti-corruption journalist. One of Medvedchuk’s daughters has Vladimir Putin as her godfather.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither Medvedchuk nor Feadship have commented on the claims.