Authorities in the Netherlands have confiscated 14 Russian-owned superyachts parked or under construction in Dutch shipyards.
There are 12 vessels now under construction, one that is nearly complete, and two that are receiving onboard repairs.
The decision comes in response to European Union sanctions targeting oligarchs with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The unidentified owners are prohibited from leaving the Netherlands or accepting formal delivery of the expensive yachts.
According to Dutch customs commissioner Nanette Van Schelven, officials have seen that "despite the significant impact of the fines," "shipyards in the Netherlands are fully cooperating."
According to The Times, Dutch customs officers are presently investigating the ultimate beneficial ownership structures (UBO) of yachts at 15 shipyards and five yacht retailers.
The Dutch foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, said that while the owners are not included on European sanction lists, "these boats may not be supplied, transferred, or exported at this moment" due to the present actions.
“Additionally, there are two yachts for maintenance at Dutch yards that have been placed under stricter customs supervision. The connection between one of these yachts with a person named on the European sanction lists is being investigated,” he added.
Mr Hoekstra said that the Dutch authorities have frozen €516 million in assets and blocked €155 million in transactions.
Russia has reportedly described the seizure of assets as theft, and western and international courts are anticipated to intervene in the spring and summer.
By fLEXI tEAM