‘Putin’s yacht’ linked with at least 15 Malta-registered companies

A Cyprus-registered company, SCF Management Services (Dubai) Ltd, linked with the management of ‘Graceful’ – the superyacht reportedly owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin – shares a direct connection with a raft of Maltese companies struck off the Malta Business Registry.

‘Graceful’, an 82m luxury vessel estimated to cost around $100 million, was last spotted entering Malta’s Grand Harbour in November 2020. The latest reports suggest the ‘Graceful’ is currently docked at Kalingrad in an effort to dodge Western sanctions on Russian assets following the invasion of Ukraine.

Ten Malta-registered companies listed SCF Management Services (Dubai) Ltd as the sole director, establishing the connection to the company linked to Putin’s superyacht. SCF Management Services (Dubai) Ltd is a subsidiary of SCF (Sovcomflot) Group, based in St Petersburg, which is majority owned by the Russian State.

All but one of those companies analysed by The Shift were struck off the Malta Business Registry (MBR) between 2020 – 2021.  They were all linked to the same address in Old Bakery Street, Valletta. The address matches that of the offices of Ganado Advocates.

Due to the Malta Business Registry’s indiscriminate purge of company records, it is not possible for journalists to obtain further information on nine of those companies struck off the register.

 

One of those 10 companies, Seagull Shipping Company Ltd, is still in the process of dissolution, and the files still available reveal the connection with SCF Management Services (Dubai) Ltd as its sole director.

The only name linked with Seagull Shipping Company Ltd’s ultimate beneficial ownership is Vladimir Oskirko, who is listed as managing director.

Oskirko is the former director of investments and business development and vice-president of one of Russia’s largest shipping companies.

MBR data for Seagull Shipping Company Ltd also displays the names of two shareholding companies, showing ownership by Intrigue Shipping Ltd and Novoship S.A. registered in Cyprus and Liberia, respectively.

Further research shows that Novoship S.A. is also listed as one of the shareholding companies linked with four of the other nine locally registered companies outlined in the table above.

For the purpose of the company’s dissolution, which was initiated in December last year, Seagull Shipping Company Ltd appointed Alfred Mifsud as its liquidator. Moore Stephens Malta, now listed as Moore (MT – Malta), served as the company’s auditors.

Besides being linked with Seagull Shipping Company Ltd, Oskirko was also previously listed as director for at least five other shipping companies formerly registered in Malta, all of which have been struck off the registry as well.

 

The five companies highlighted in the table above share similarities with Seagull Shipping Company Ltd, including their registered address at Old Bakery Street and Oskirko’s role as director.

The former Chief Financial Officer of Ganado Advocates was appointed to liquidate each and every one of them.

Besides his numerous interests in Malta and Cyprus, Oskirko is also the director of Novoship (UK) Ltd, a company that successfully claimed approximately $170 million in damages in a 2012 commercial court decision in London.

According to news reports about the case, a former general manager of Novoship (UK) Ltd, Vladimir Mikhaylyuk, and two businessmen associated with him, Wilmer Ruperti and Yuri Nikitin, were charged with soliciting and receiving bribes in relation to a series of fraudulent charters.

This investigation was supported by source material from the Malta Investigative Journalism Centre, an initiative of the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation.

                           
                               
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‘Putin’s yacht’ linked with at least 15 Malta-registered companies
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