Petition to home Ukrainian refugees on seized superyacht

superyacht which inspired petition to host Ukranian refugees onboard

A petition calling for a superyacht to be used to house refugees has received more than 28,000 signatures, but it’s taken eight months to get this far.

Frenchman, Philippe Bonneau, started the petition on to ‘transform’ the yacht ‘into a free reception hotel for Ukrainian refugees awaiting permanent rehousing in France’.

The 80-year-old retired engineer can see the yacht from his home. “It has no sense to be there without being used. I’m angry,” Bonneau told Bloomberg.

The 80m Amore Vero was seized by French authorities in March (as reported by MIN, it was the first to be seized in Europe) and is being held in the port of La Ciotat, east of the city of Marseille on France’s southern coast.

The owner of the Amore Vero is disputed. The listed owner is Kazimo Trade & Invest Limited. The main shareholder of Kazimo is said to be Igor Sechin, chief executive of the Russian oil giant PJSC Rosneft.

Sechin denies owning the yacht. Lawyers acting for the company Kazimo, registered in the British Virgin Islands, say the actual owner isn’t sanctioned.

The yacht has been in La Ciotat since January, where it was undergoing repairs, according to French customs officials.

The petition has no legal weight, and Bonneau is not the first to suggest that money from the assets should be given to the Ukrainian people. Ukrainian officials, including the country’s president, have called for seized mansions, boats, and assets to be sold in aid of Ukraine’s defence.

Read more about the war in Ukraine’s impact on marine trade in MIN’s archives.

Philippe Bonneau

All images courtesy of Philippe Bonneau.

3 responses to “Petition to home Ukrainian refugees on seized superyacht”

  1. Toby hatton says:

    What a stupid idea , let’s find the most expensive way we can to house refugees. The vessel will need to be maintained by crew , so no beds there . So that leaves just the guest cabins and only the legal amount is just 12 . Clearly this idea came from someone who knows nothing of the running costs of a super yacht

  2. Captain Brian Chick says:

    Absolutely, a completely ridiculous idea….could have only come from an engineer. Clueless.

  3. Mike Barnes says:

    I don’t care if it only takes 12 people in the guest accommodation plus two supernumeraries on board to ensure all is well. I would rather see them there than is some crummy guest house somewhere, and more significantly, it is the message you send to the Putin regime that is of significance – where do I sign?