A woman fighting to enforce a £453 million divorce award against her oligarch ex-husband has been granted possession of his £346 million yacht.
Tatiana Akhmedova was given a 41.5 per cent share of Farkhad Akhmedov’s £1 billion-plus fortune in a ruling by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave in December 2016.
However, since then she has been involved in litigation to enforce her divorce judgment in jurisdictions around the world.
The judge said it was apparent that Akhmedov “has taken numerous elaborate steps to conceal his wealth and evade enforcement of the judgment”.
As a result, Akhmedova’s efforts had been frustrated but she had “achieved some success recently in the Isle of Man and Dubai”.
The judge said yesterday in the High Court that after a hearing in London in March, when he heard applications on her behalf for “further relief”, he made several orders to aid her enforcement of his 2016 judgment in those two jurisdictions.
One of the orders announced yesterday relates to the businessman’s yacht, which has a capital value of £346,600,841.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave declared that the MV Luna, which has ten VIP cabins, is “beneficially owned” by Akhmedov and ordered that it should be transferred into her name.
The judge said Akhmedova’s law firm, the City of London practice Withers, discovered that the yacht had been put into dry dock for maintenance in Dubai. This may have been because Akhmedov had “assumed that Dubai was well beyond the reach of an English court judgment,” he said, adding: “It appears that Messrs Withers, however, knew better.”
The yacht was “effectively impounded in Port Rashid where she remains under court order”.
In a statement issue after the ruling, Akhmedova’s legal team said: “Mr Akhmedov has employed a series of evasive and underhand tactics aimed at frustrating attempts to enforce the judgment made by the English court against him.
“We are very pleased that the High Court has recognised this today and that Mr Justice Haddon-Cave has taken the uncommon step of piercing the corporate veil in recognising that the companies owning Mr Akhmedov’s assets are simply his tools.”