Yacht Owners fined for importing contraband worth $100,000

Big Game Interior Decorations Cost Yacht Massive Fine

The owners of the 46 metre superyacht Mystere C I, have been fined after pleading guilty to illegally importing into the USA wildlife parts worth $100,000 that were used to decorate the yachts lavish interior

In December 2007 US inspectors boarded the yacht when she arrived at Port Everglades aboard a Dock Express ship that had transported the yacht from Italy.

They found a big-game hunter’s haul of:

  • Elephant tusks
  • Mounted tiger head
  • Stuffed lion
  • Python hides covering bar stools

The yacht’s interior was decorated using rugs made from the skins of dead animals including:

  • Zebra
  • Jaguar
  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Tiger

Ruzial a Cayman Islands that owns the yacht, the use of which is enjoyed by Soviet-born billionaire Tamir Sapir, pleaded guilty to attempting to import 29 wildlife items, including specimens of protected species and ordered to pay criminal and civil fines of $150,000.

Listed at number 522nd in the Forbes list of the world’s richest people, with a wealth estimated at US$1.4 billion, Sapir, born in Tbilisi, Georgia, emigrated to Israel in 1973 and then to the USA. Oil investments and rentals from the ownership of Manhattan office buildings are reported to be his main source of income.

The yacht was built by Lloydships in Australia during 1987 and was lengthened in the USA by some 3.5 metres during 1991.