Alisher Usmanov, one of the richest Russians, the owner of the mighty $800 million Dilbar yacht, is also the owner of fake Faberge eggs. It does seem shocking, especially after considering that Usmanov is worth a staggering $ 16 billion. This came to light last month when a special unit of more than 250 German police officers raided the oligarch’s properties in Southern Bavaria. This included his lavish villa at Tegernsee lake in the southern state of Bavaria. According to the Nexta portal, in all probability, it was in this villa where officers discovered four Faberge eggs locked in a safe. Not made by Russian goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé, the eggs, were fake but still would have cost tens of thousands of dollars. The raids are believed to have targeted the early Facebook investor for an extensive and complex network of companies and corporations to conceal the origins of transactions dated between 2017 and 2022.
Not just Alisher Usmanov’s houses, but his $800 million megayacht Dilbar was raided too. Around 60 officials from the Federal Criminal Police office and tax authorities swooped in on the 500-feet long vessel. The objective of the raid was to prove that the Uzbek-born businessman owned a German place of residence at Tegernsee and was responsible for paying taxes in Germany.
With an aim to make a stronger case, they first raided the businessman’s villas on Lake Tegernsee and then his seized megayacht. Being a billionaire the taxes that he had avoided were far from petty as since 2014 he had dodged at least 555 million Euros ($530 million) in taxes. The amount actually equals the price of a luxurious megayacht.
As lavish as these floating palaces are from the outside, their owners leave no stone unturned to make them as luxurious as possible. The seized Axioma yacht had $153,000 worth of fine whiskies and wines onboard. On the other hand, the Amadea megayacht, which was seized by the US, had a bejewel Faberge egg just lying around.
What makes Fabergé eggs so expensive?
Pierre-Karl Fabergé is a legendary name in Russian goldsmithing and jewelry. He created a celebrated series of 50 Imperial Easter eggs for the Russian Imperial family from 1885 to 1916. No wonder the most deep-pocketed Russians aim to have these incredible and marvelous precious objects in their possession. Fabergé eggs attract high prices and most fortunate collectors in equal measures, with less than 100 surviving as of today. These precious pieces sell for millions, a status symbol that equals megayachts. In 2007, Christie’s auctioned a Faberge egg for $12.6 million. Similarly, the Carriage egg went under the hammer for an estimated 22 million euros by Sotheby’s. The blue enamel egg with ribs sold for a whopping 24 million euros.