Coming from Viareggio in Italy the superyacht Polaris sailed into Malta’s Grand Harbour in early March 2021. The Russian oligarch Maxim Shubarev, who acquired Maltese citizenship in 2018, bought the Malta-flagged Polaris in 2021 (details here). Some 10 people were on board but we do not know whether Shubarev was on the vessel. A few days later The superyacht left Malta destined for Turkey.
Malta’s Golden Passport scheme – cash-for-passports – was an instant hit with rich Russians. Therefore, in its first full year of operation, 54.3 percent of applications were submitted from Russia. As a result, the EU Parliament has just voted to stop these Golden Passport schemes.
The 59-year-old Maxim Shubarev is the chairman of Setl Group, a leading Russian construction and real estate company based in St Petersburg. His net worth is estimated at $500 million. Shubarev is also a shareholder of Polaris Malta Ltd and Polaris Charter Ltd, incorporated in 2016. The two companies’ registered addresses are in St Julian’s and Valletta. The director of both companies, which never filed their audited financial statements, is Anastasia Budykho.
Shubarev is also chairman of the committee on housing and civil engineering of Russia’s National Association of Construction Companies. In 2019, Shubarev was pictured with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a judo awards ceremony.
Maxim Shubarev and his Setl Group do not appear on the list of oligarchs and companies who have been subjected to international sanctions in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
This week, France seized a yacht linked to Russian oil company Rosneft boss, Igor Sechin, in the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat. German authorities locked Alisher Usmanov‘s $600m superyacht Dilbert in Hamburg.