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Sanctioned Russian mogul’s ‘Nord’ megayacht leaves Hong Kong

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After mysteriously sailing into Hong two weeks ago, Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov’s $500 million superyacht weighed anchor Thursday and departed for South Africa. It was southeast of Hainan Island on Friday morning.

The 465-foot (142-meter) Nord, which caused a stir when it arrived in Hong Kong earlier this month, registered that it expects to arrive in Cape Town on November 9. Prior to coming to Hong Kong, it was docked in Vladivostok, according to vessel data compiled by Bloomberg.

Mordashov, the biggest shareholder in steelmaker Severstal PJSC, was sanctioned by the European Union, the UK and US following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While the US warned Hong Kong that its status as a financial hub could be threatened if it assisted sanctioned individuals, the city said it didn’t have legal authority to take action on sanctions imposed by other jurisdictions.

A spokesperson for Mordashov, Russia’s third-richest person, said the billionaire has been in Moscow since the Nord’s arrival in Hong Kong and declined to comment on the vessel’s movements.

It is unclear if Cape Town is the Nord’s final destination or whether its crew has received assurances that it will be safe there. More than a dozen yachts connected to sanctioned Russians have been seized by US and European governments, while some have fled to friendly havens such as Turkey. South Africa hasn’t so far been a destination that Russian vessels have sought out.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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