PHOTO: Stefano Paganini/Flickr

Luna Seizure Upheld by Dubai Court

While another hearing is set for July, for now, the megayacht Luna remains under arrest in Dubai. She’s part of an ongoing bitter divorce battle.

Last month, authorities in Dubai arrested the 377-foot (115-meter) megayacht as she sat in Port Rashid. They did so as enforcement of a London High Court ruling. A judge had upheld his own earlier decision in favor of Tatiana Akhmedova, the ex-wife of Luna’s owner, Farkhad Akhmedov.

The couple married in 1993, moving to London from Russia in subsequent years. They divorced in 2014. Akhmedova remained in London following the divorce. Despite the divorce settlement providing her with a variety of assets, she alleges she has not received the full amount. Therefore, she petitioned a London court to seize some of Akhmedov’s assets. In December 2016, the above-mentioned judge awarded Akhmedova 41 percent of her ex-husband’s assets. The total was £453.5 million (approximately $614 million at current press time). Just last month, the same judge ordered the arrest of Luna as part of that ruling.

In fact, according to Bloomberg, the judge ruled that the yacht was worth £346 million. (That’s approximately $468.55 million at current press time). Furthermore, the judge wrote, Akhmedov tried concealing his ownership of Luna behind multiple companies. The judge also added that Akhmedov sent Luna to Dubai in belief that UK courts would have no jurisdiction there. Akhmedov reportedly changed the registered owner during the London court proceedings.

Akhmedov has stated several times that he supported Akhmedova after their divorce, which took place in Russia. He also criticized the London court’s actions in an email to Bloomberg. He claims they’re part of a larger UK attempt “to seize assets belonging to wealthy Russians.” Furthermore, in a separate statement, he told Bloomberg, “Any idea that the yacht can be sold or handed over to Mrs. Akhmedova is fanciful.” He went on to add, “For that to happen—by the time all legal procedures were exhausted—would take years. By then the yacht could have depreciated.”

A Dubai court is keeping the nine-deck-high megayacht in dry dock in Port Rashid until, it says, it can review new information. The July hearing date has not been announced.

Luna launched in 2010, from Lloyd Werft in Germany. Roman Abramovich was her original owner. Akhmedov acquired her in 2014.

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