Newsweek reports that 115-meter M/Y Luna has been temporarily seized in Dubai. A British court ruled that the vessel’s owner, billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, owes his ex-wife Tatiana Mikhavilovna Akhmedova $567 million from a divorce settlement.
The British court’s representative petitioned the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts for control of the yacht, and the Dubai court ruled on February 8 to freeze the vessel — she was then seized in Dubai. According to Gulf News, “A further ‘enforcement order’ by the DIFC Courts is needed before Luna could be taken legally and auctioned off to collect proceeds for the divorce award.”
Gulf News reports that Akhmedov has argued that the divorce happened in Russia, and he questions the legitimacy of the UK’s involvement. Reuters reports that Akhmedov won the right to appeal for the vessel’s release from the Dubai authorities on April 10.
The trust managers are working on the vessel’s return and are providing for the 50 crewmembers currently on board in Dubai.
The London court has now ruled that Akhmedov must transfer ownership of M/Y Luna to his ex-wife. According to Bloomberg, Judge Charles Haddon-Cave claimed that Akhmedov attempted to hide his ownership of the vessel and moved the boat to Dubai, which he reportedly believed was “well beyond the reach of an English court judgment.” The judge apparently ordered Akhmedov to pay 41 percent of his assets to his wife in December 2016. She alleges that she has received nothing from the settlement yet.
Bloomberg also reports that, according to the ex-wife’s court documents, Akhmedov allegedly moved his modern art collection to Lichtenstein. The art collection was awarded to Akhmedova in the settlement. The transfer seemed to prompt the judge to move more quickly, due to Akhmedov’s willingness “to take rapid and multifarious steps to evade enforcement at every turn,” Bloomberg writes.
Akhmedov still disputes the London Court’s jurisdiction.