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Italy freezes $700-million megayacht linked to Putin

ROME — Italian financial authorities said Friday that they had frozen a $700-million megayacht that has been linked in media reports and by anti-Kremlin groups to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But an element of mystery remains: Italy, in its decree, did not say who the owner might be.

The move comes after Italian investigators had raced to investigate the vessel and prevent it from leaving the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara. The yacht, known as the Scheherazade, had been undergoing repairs since before the Russia-launched war in Ukraine. But earlier this week, it had returned to the water, according to a New York Times reporter who visited the marina, prompting fears the vessel might depart and evade sanctions.

Until the measures imposed Friday evening, the ship would have been free to leave.

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