(NewsGlobal.com)- In a video released last week, a team of investigators working with Putin critic Alexei Navalny’s claimed that the luxurious “super-yacht” called the Scheherazade, moored at the Italian Sea Group shipyard in Marina di Carrara, belongs to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the investigators, 70 percent of the onboard crew were allegedly Russian intelligence officers from the FSO and FSB. The video-makers conclude that the only possible explanation for employing Russian intelligence is the yacht belongs to President Putin.
The 459-foot yacht is said to be one of the most expensive in the world. Earlier this month, Italian authorities asked the yacht’s British captain, Guy Thomas Bennett-Pearce to turn over crucial certification documents and paperwork. Bennett-Pearce complied. However, he denied the owner is Putin.
The super-yacht, estimated to be worth approximately $700 million, has been called a floating city, featuring marble and gold surfaces, a spa, a sauna, a theater, two helipads, a gym, and a ballroom with a tile dance floor that can shift away revealing a swimming pool.
The UK Sun recently published photos of some of the ostentatious features aboard the Scheherazade, including a gold-plated toilet paper holder.
The Scheherazade’s Captain Guy Thomas Bennett-Pearce has denied the yacht belongs to Putin. Earlier this month, he told the New York Times that he has never met Vladimir Putin, nor has the Russian president ever stepped foot aboard the vessel.
Bennett-Pierce told the Times that he had no choice but to turn over the documents to Italian authorities when they showed up at the yacht. And while he did tell the paper that the owner was Russian, he refused to say more citing a nondisclosure agreement.
An unnamed source confirmed to the New York Times that Italian financial police had opened an inquiry into the ownership of the Scheherazade.
Bennett-Pierce told the Times that the investigation by the Italian authorities would clear up the rumors and speculation regarding the yacht’s owner.
With Russian oligarchs facing sanctions over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, several countries have urged Italian authorities to seize the Scheherazade.