Italian police have seized Flavio Briatore’s $25 million yacht over allegations that he owes millions in unpaid taxes. It is also claimed that the boat, Force Blue, which is registered in the Cayman Islands, refuelled in EU waters without paying VAT – a sum which could total as much as $1 million.
“This operation has been going on for a year and ended with the impounding of Flavio Briatore’s yacht, Force Blue,” Captain Giuseppe Pappalardo from the Italian Financial Police explained to reporters.
“In essence, the crime of contraband is suspected because Mr Briatore is an EU citizen and the boat is registered out of the European Union. If he uses it in European waters, VAT is payable. Foreign registered boats are exempt from fuel taxes – but only if they leave EU waters within eight hours of filling up.”
Briatore is not thought to have been on the boat at the time of the seizure however it is understood that his wife and two-month old son were.