VLADIMIR Putin’s £500 million megayacht was finally seized by Italian police tonight after The Sun revealed the sickening luxury onboard the dictator’s floating mansion.
The Scheherazade is currently being held by authorities in Marina di Carrara in Italy after an investigation found it to be linked with “prominent elements of the Russian government”.
The 459ft vessel left its dry dock earlier this week after repairs were completed – sparking concerns it could flee the harbor to avoid EU sanctions.
Its official cost, when finished two years ago, was £500million but insiders say it could be closer to £750million.
Pictures obtained by The Sun earlier this year showed six decks of obscene luxury and sickening excess.
An investigation by Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation in March tied the Scheherazade to Putin.
It found that all of the ship’s crew members are Russian citizens employed by the Federal Protection Service, the agency in charge of Putin’s personal protection.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance said they had “highlighted the presence of significant economic and business links of the beneficial owner of the boat Scheherazade with prominent elements of the Russian government”.
The yacht, which has six decks, two helipads, and a self-playing piano, is rumored to be owned on paper by Eduard Khudainatov, a former executive of Rosneft.
While not naming the owner, the Italian authorities said the Financial Security Committee had asked the Council of the European Union to add them to their sanctions list, and freeze the asset in the meantime.
Vladimir Putin, although believed to be the richest man in Russia, only officially claims a salary of $140,000 and says he owns just one modest apartment.
Personal touches for the despot on the Scheherazade are evident in a judo gym, which has framed pictures of black belts.
A tiled dancefloor lowers to turn into a pool.
The lavish feature is thought to be on one of only two on ships in the world — the other is on Putin’s yacht Graceful.
Other indulgences include a self-levelling pool table, five-meter aquarium and the biggest TV on a yacht, stretching 4.5m across an entire wall, which cost a million euros to install.
Bathrooms are extravagantly adorned with gold toilet roll holders and taps.
And the ship’s highly sophisticated security system with four radars is said to be capable of shooting down drones.
“The boat, flying the flag of the Cayman Islands and moored in Marina di Carrara, had long been under the attention of the competent authorities,” the MEF said tonight.
The Italian Sea Group, the company overseeing the Scheherazade’s repairs, did not respond to The Sun’s request for comment tonight.