In early April, Spanish police, working in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice, seized a superyacht called Tango that belonged to a sanctioned Russian billionaire named Viktor Vekselberg.
Here is a video posted by the US Justice Department, which coordinated with Spanish authorities, showing the moment Tango was seized:
So what happens to a yacht after it has been seized? Does it just gather dust, rust and barnacles forever?
In a weird quirk, the seizing government actually must continue to maintain the yacht at its current levels. And that can be a very expensive proposition!
The general formula for estimating the annual cost of yacht maintenance is ten percent of the yacht's overall value. Tango is estimated to be worth $95 million. So whichever government, likely the United States, takes ultimate responsibility for Tango will be on the hook for around $9.5 million per year in annual maintenance costs.
An annual maintenance expense of $9.5 million is peanuts compared to what the German government might have just signed up for when it seized a yacht called Dilbar from Russian Billionaire Alisher Usmanov on April 14.
On the low-end, Dilbar is estimated to be worth $750 million. On the high end it's believed to be worth $800 million.
That means the German government is on the hook for $75 – $80 million in annual maintenance fees.
Dilbar is currently under locked up at a shipyard in Hamburg: