Italy court turns down request to unfreeze Russian businessman's yacht

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Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Severstal, speaks during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 16, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

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ROME, July 1 (Reuters) - An Italian court has thrown out requests to unfreeze billionaire Alexey Mordashov's yacht which was seized by the police as part of a drive by Western states to target wealthy Russians after the invasion of Ukraine.

Mordashov's 65 metre (215 ft) Lady M yacht, which has a price tag of 65 million euros ($68 million), was seized by the Italian police in the northern port of Imperia in March. read more

Asmare Enterprises Limited, the company to which Lady M belongs, had asked the administrative court of the Lazio region to lift the freeze, claiming that the Russian businessman under sanctions was not the formal owner of the vessel.

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The court rejected the lawsuit saying that Mordashov was indeed the ultimate owner of Lady M, a document seen by Reuters on Friday showed.

Mordashov, 56, is the son of a mill worker who became a

steel magnate with estimated net worth of $29.1 billion. He is reputed to be Russia's richest man.

Italy sequestered villas and yachts worth over 900 million euros ($950 million) in March and April from wealthy Russians, who regularly came to the country on holiday and had bought property in many prestigious locations.

($1 = 0.9599 euros)

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Reporting by Marco Carta, writing by Giselda Vagnoni Editing by Keith Weir

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