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Finnish Customs freeze 21 luxury yachts, cite sanctions against Russia

The agency is investigating whether the yachts in question belong to individuals or companies on the EU sanctions list.

One luxury yacht has already been transferred to a holding facility. Image: Pyry Sarkiola / Yle

Finnish Customs officials have prohibited 21 luxury yachts from moving out of Finnish waters. The boats are believed to be subject to EU sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Customs' decision to freeze the vessels was first reported by Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat and confirmed to Yle by Sami Rakshit, Head of the Customs' Enforcement Unit.

The agency's officials informed winter storekeepers last week that 22 yachts could not be moved while the investigation is ongoing, according to HS.

Rakshit added that Customs is now investigating whether the yachts belong to individuals on the EU sanctions list or to their companies. If that ownership is confirmed, the boats will be transferred to a holding facility.

Customs confirmed that one yacht is already being held at the foreclosure facility.