- The captain of an oligarch’s yacht said he gave the crew 48 hours to leave a port after the Russian invasion.
- The yacht left Spain a day earlier than the captain’s orders and sailed to Montenegro, according to the WSJ.
- The pursuit of signals from the Galactica Super Nova, owned by Vagit Alekperov, stopped after it left Montenegro.
The captain of a Russian oligarch’s superyacht says he gave the crew 48 hours to sail from a port in Spain a day after Russia invaded Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported .
The 230-foot vessel, Galactica Super Nova, is worth $80 million and is owned by Vagit Alekperov, per Super Yacht Fan, which has not yet been sanctioned. Alekperov is chairman of Russian oil company Lukoil and has a net worth of nearly $23 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
The superyacht was previously moored in a port in Barcelona, Spain, in late February, The Journal reported.
The day after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to Ukraine to conduct a “special military operation”, the captain of the Galactica Super Nova told the crew to prepare to sail in 48 hours, a former crew member told the Journal.
The captain had gone on vacation and returned to the ship early, the crew member said.
“We are leaving on Sunday,” the captain told his staff on Feb. 25, according to the crew member. The superyacht left the following day – a day ahead of schedule, they added.
The Galactica Super Nova arrived in the port of Tivat in Montenegro on March 1 but left the next day after the country’s government announced it would adopt EU sanctions, despite not being a member of the EU.
When the superyacht left Tivat, its tracking signals stopped, leading to speculation that it might be trying to avoid detection.
The ship tracking site Marine traffic showed on Wednesday that the Galactica Super Nova was located off the coast of Montenegro.
Although Alekperov has not been sanctioned, the United States has listed him among politicians and oligarchs with close ties to Putin, making his superyacht a target of potential future sanctions, according to The Journal.