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Grant Shapps heralds seizure of Russian billionaire’s superyacht by Gibraltar

The Transport Secretary said he is doing “all I can to cripple Russia’s aviation and shipping industries” following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

22 March 2022

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he is doing “all I can to cripple Russia’s aviation and shipping industries” after Gibraltar seized a superyacht owned by billionaire oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky.

The 72-metre long vessel, Axioma, was impounded by authorities in the British overseas territory on Monday.

Mr Pumpyansky is the owner and chairman of steel pipe manufacturer OAO TMK, which has supplied Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom since 1998, according to Forbes.

His net worth is estimated at £1.84 billion.

He was sanctioned by the UK last week in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Mr Shapps said: “We cannot stand idly by while (Russian President) Vladimir Putin tramples over a sovereign, democratic country, laying waste to homes and hospitals.

“That is why the Government has deployed an unprecedented range of sanctions against Russia.

“It’s not just here in the UK those sanctions apply, either. They are being mirrored in our overseas territories too, which is what led to the multi-million-pound superyacht of Dmitry Pumpyansky being seized and impounded in Gibraltar yesterday.

“As Transport Secretary, I’m doing all I can to cripple Russia’s aviation and shipping industries, and my message to Putin and his cronies is loud and clear – there is nowhere to hide.”

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