Anatoly Shutov was arrested in Moscow last week, following the theft of a US$2 million yacht named Ghost 3.
The member of the ‘yacht robbery group’ stole the yacht from Turkish charter firm GMM Yachting.
Shutov was detained in Moscow last week, but the remaining criminals are yet to be caught, according to Turkish newspaper Takvim. Investigators have also established that the leader of the criminal group is Oleg Popilov, a retired Russian navy colonel, and that Nikandrov Sergi Nikolaevich is its financier.
The gang have reportedly been stealing and selling yachts with fake documents in South America for at least four years. They were receiving enquiries for which they would then steal particular yachts and sell them effortlessly as they already had the orders.
Despite the gang using the same robbery method for at least four years, it is said that currently only six of the stolen yachts have been found.
The robbery group’s operation entailed chartering a yacht using different passports in each case, paying using only cash and removing the automatic identification system of the yacht and replacing it with a remote-control toy boat to ensure renters believe that the yacht was unmoored in territorial waters. In the meantime, the stolen vessel had already arrived at international seas.
Throughout the past two years, the gang has stolen a total of 46 yachts from Italy, Greece and Croatia. It is estimated that the entire cost of the fraud so far is at $100 million.
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Source: International Boat Industry