At right Dmitry Mazepin, father of former Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin and owner of Uralkali, previously the title sponsor of the Haas F1 Team, sits across from Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Moscow on November 23, 2022.Photo: Pool (AP)
Last summer, two yachts thought to be owned by Russian fertilizer oligarch and worst-kind-of-sports-parent Dmitry Mazepin disappeared from the port of Olbia off the Italian island of Sardinia. They had been seized in March, pursuant to European Union sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but local officials weren’t able to immediately tie the vessels to their owner. Both boats vanished three months later within days of each other — and suspiciously mere hours before police confirmed they belonged to Mazepin.
Wouldn’t you know the Italian government would really love to speak with the billionaire, according to the latest from the Guardian. This week Mazepin was issued a notice of the roughly $540,000 he faces in fines by the Forte dei Marmi town hall, where he also owns a house.
The ships — both named Aldabra, presumably to make this case just that little bit more annoying for law enforcement — supposedly went off in different directions. One set sail for Tunisia, while the other headed toward Northern Italy, then Turkey. Their current whereabouts are unknown.
As for how Mazepin arranged the whole thing, Italian officials have an idea about that, too. Courtesy the Guardian:
Police said Mazepin hired a foreign company, which in turn hired a Sardinian captain to move the yachts away from Italy.
The intermediary company and captain have both been hit with fines of up to €500,000. Mazepin faces the same penalties.
A police source said that he is fiscally resident in Forte dei Marmi, a popular destination for Russian oligarchs before the war in Ukraine, as he owns a villa in the town, hence why the notice was issued there.
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That villa was seized too, as it’s slightly more challenging to hide than seafaring craft. I’d love to hear Mazepin’s son, disgraced Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin, relate his assuredly noncommittal stance on these matters. Hell, I’d love to hear him say anything at all. His mouth proved to be an endless well of entertainment through the early part of last year and it’s been too long since he opened it near a microphone.