In true Ocean’s-Eleven style, a Russian billionaire made his seized 111 ft long superyacht disappear from a dry dock and cleverly fooled the authorities by switching it with an identical vessel made by the same shipyard.

That Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov loves his superyachts is no secret. The billionaire didn’t shy away from pleading with authorities to suspend the sanctions on his beloved Dilbar yacht. While they turned a deaf ear to Russia’s leading billionaire, worth $16 billion, he didn’t sail down the same path for the smaller, inconspicuous 111-feet Irina VU luxury vessel. Dilbar and Alaiya aren’t the only gems owned by Usmanov; this Sunseeker 115 Sport Yacht model built in 2012 is also a frozen asset of the 68-year-old business magnate. In an interesting turn of never-heard-before events, the oligarch’s superyacht has disappeared from dry docking and not in the same way as turning the transponders off.

Alisher Usmanoc with his wife Irina. Via – Moscow Times.

The Irina VU, named after Usmanov’s wife, was frozen and under the custody of local authorities. They realized that the boat was no longer moored in the port of Betina from the island of Murter, per 24 SATA. Call it sleight of hand or trickery of the highest order, but Usmanov not only whisked away his boat but also replaced her with a look alike. The only thing kept in the dark were the Croatian authorities, as shortly after sailing off without permission, the ship unabashedly broadcasted her location via AIS from Turkey.

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The port of Betina.Via Facebook / @Visit Betina

What do the Croatian authorities have to say about this ship-switching stunt?
Alen Gospocic, the state secretary in the Ministry of the Sea supervising the current investigation, blamed the swiping on a lack of security at the marina. While they followed the rulebook to the T to arrest the yacht, inform the owner about his loss, and dry dock Irina at Betina, they didn’t do much after. Assuming this was the end of Irina’s journey, the authorities let down their guards a little too much. Usmanov’s Alaiya superyacht is anchored in the Indian Ocean, safe from the grasp of officials, and per Vessel Finder, Irina VU is in the Aegean Sea.

Via – Boat International

Understated and powerful Irina superyacht-
Irina was still an important asset, not the tycoon’s most striking ship or possession, at $5.4 million. One of 20 examples of the 115 Sport Yacht model from Sunseeker Yachts, the boat accommodates ten guests and five crew members, per Superyacht Times.

The Irina yacht. Via – Postsen

Irina is powered by 2 MTU engines, boasting a cruising speed of 24 kn and a top speed of 26 kn. The ship looks dashing with a dark blue hull and white superstructure. Amenities found onboard include Jacuzzi, several lounge spaces, and a roomy living area.

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Dilbar, the don of the high seas-
There is no comparing Irina VU or even Alaiya superyacht to the glorious $800 million Dilbar megayacht. The mammoth continues to be an unbeatable champion of the yachting world, with a length of 500 feet and an extensive beam of nearly 80 feet.


Amenities like two helipads, a stunning 100-feet swimming pool, an onboard garden, and a total fuel capacity of 1,000,049 liters make Dilbar insurmountable.


Alaiya motoryacht, elegant as they come-
The $300 million vessel is like a painting-in-motion with gold handrails, a spa with live lemon trees, and a transforming dance floor. In addition to Capri-inspired décor, the starboard houses relation zones like a sauna, ice fountain, and shower, leading to a foldout swim platform.


If that wasn’t enough, the 365-foot Alaiya, formerly Lady Gulya, houses 18 guests in 9 staterooms. Each guest cabin represents a distinctive geographic destination like Provence, China, Russian Dacha, Tuscany, London, Paris, New York, and Marrakech.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.