Often described as a floating resort, it was initially believed to belong to Amazon billionaire and “space cowboy” Jeff Bezos and was a hit with celebrities who could afford to pay $4 million a week to chill on it, like Beyonce and Jay-Z. As the world turned its attention to Russia, and specifically Russian oligarchs whose fortunes Putin is using to finance the ongoing war in Ukraine, the real owner of Flying Fox was revealed to be billionaire Dmitry Kamenshchik.
Kamenshchik is worth some $2.1 billion, which is not a lot by Russian oligarch standards, but enough to own the Flying Fox, especially considering it’s chartered for most of the year. He also owns Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, which makes the bulk of his profits.
As it so happens, Kamenshchik is not currently on any sanctions list, but that doesn’t mean that his assets are safe, as superyacht vlogger eSysman SuperYachts points out in his most recent video (see below). In late March this year, Flying Fox was arrested in the Dominican Republic over fraud allegations and alleged illicit trafficking of weapons.
It spent an entire month in Port Don Diego in Santo Domingo, accruing costs of over $1 million just in fees and taxes. Then, it just left. “Quietly early one morning,” as the vlogger puts it. Local authorities are yet to offer an explanation for how or why it was able to sail away, but one report notes that they probably had no idea of it until they were told by the media. The Flying Fox flew the coop, if you will.
AIS tracking hints that it may be heading to Turkey, which has become a safe haven for Russian-owned superyachts, whether the owners are subject to sanctions or not. As it headed east across the Atlantic, the Flying Fox’s destination was listed as TBC (“to be confirmed”) and changed to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, later on. Once it passed Gibraltar Straits, the destination switched again to TBC, and it looks like it’s heading to Turkey at a cruising speed of 12 knots (13.8 mph / 22.2 kph).
The Flying Fox is a six-decker that offers accommodation for 25 guests and 55 crew and incredible amenities like a two-deck wellness center (sauna, massage room, cryosauna, and cryotherapy), cinema with motion and vibration tech, nightclub, two chef’s kitchens, giant pool, several firepits, two helipads, and huge garages for a wide range of exploring gear and water toys.