Goh Chok Tong, Singapore’s former Prime Minister, has been actively engaging with his audience on social media, sharing glimpses of his post-political life since retiring from his official capacity after the 2020 General Election.
Interestingly, in a recent Facebook post, he intriguingly mentioned coming across a lavish yacht moored at Keppel Island, reportedly belonging to a Russian millionaire.
Last Friday (3 Nov), Mr Goh shared photos of his time at Labrador Park. Despite it being a Friday night, he noted the seemingly deserted ambience of the place.
However, he commented that the port never truly sleeps. He shifted focus to Keppel Island, where he spotted a luxurious yacht named Cloudbreak.
“Googled, and found it to be owned by a Russian billionaire, ” Mr Goh wrote.
The yacht belongs to Russian property tycoon Alexander Svetakov
While Mr Goh did not explicitly mention the identity of the Russian billionaire, online sources indicate that the owner of the yacht Cloudbreak is Alexander Alexandrovich Svetakov, a 55-year-old Russian property tycoon.
Presently, Forbes estimates Alexander Svetakov’s net worth at an impressive US$2 billion. He has established himself as one of the prominent real estate proprietors in the Moscow region, primarily holding significant land assets in New Moscow.
Svetakov’s journey to success initiated with his venture into the importation of electronics from Asia. Notably, he made a significant stride in 2007 by selling his earlier enterprise, Absolut Bank, for a remarkable $1.4 billion, setting a record within Russia’s banking sector.
Over time, his investment group, Absolut, diversified its interests, spanning across various industries, including real estate and caviar extraction.
However, it is crucial to acknowledge the international attention on Russian billionaires following Vladimir Putin’s incursion into Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
On March 1 last year, President Joe Biden affirmed his administration’s commitment to collaborating with European nations in targeting Russian oligarchs by confiscating their assets, such as yachts, luxury properties, and private jets.
Sanctioned by Ukrainian government
Notably, Alexander Svetakov features on a war and sanction list website, supported by Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ukrainian government has imposed sanctions on Svetakov and others for their involvement in supporting Russia’s military actions against Ukraine.
The website highlights Svetakov’s alleged engagement in commercial activities within sectors of the Russian economy that significantly contribute to the Russian Federation’s budget, which is purportedly utilized for fueling the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“It has close ties with the regime, which has prepared and is conducting, contrary to the charter documents of the United Nations, an aggressive war against Ukraine, in which crimes against humanity are committed and the genocide of the Ukrainian people is taking place. ”
Cloudbreak docked idly at Keppel Island
Further investigation using the vessel tracking website VesselFinder revealed that the luxurious yacht Cloudbreak is currently docked idly at Keppel Island.
VesselFinder’s data indicated that the yacht arrived in Singapore on 31 October, having departed from the Port of Benoa, Indonesia on the 27th of the previous month.
According to Forbes, the Cloudbreak is a magnificent 246-feet long yacht registered in the Cayman Islands and holds an astounding value of US$98 million. This lavish vessel was meticulously crafted in 2016 by the renowned German boatbuilder, Abeking & Rasmussen.
The yacht’s exquisite interior boasts six opulent staterooms, providing luxurious accommodation for up to 12 passengers, all meticulously tended to by a 22-person crew. Notably, the master cabin offers an exceptional feature with its two balconies, one of which offers an unobstructed panoramic view.
The Cloudbreak is adorned with a wellness centre, a fully equipped gym, and even a helicopter pad, epitomizing the height of luxury and comfort. Its sturdy steel hull is powered by two powerful Caterpillar diesel engines, enabling smooth cruising at 12 knots, with an impressive range of 8,500 nautical miles, equivalent to 9,781 miles or 17,741 kilometres.
Cloudbreak’s voyage from Singapore to Koh Samui in July 2022 sparked mixed reactions in Thai community
The yacht Cloudbreak made headlines when it appeared in Pattaya, Thailand, in July of the previous year, sparking a mixture of reactions within the local community.
While tourism industry experts and officials from Koh Samui were enthusiastic, heralding the visit as a positive sign of the resurgence of high-value tourism in Thailand, critics highlighted the political tensions between Russia and Ukraine, alongside the US’s intent to impose sanctions on oligarchs and several Russian billionaires.
The Pattaya News underlined that the Thai government has maintained an official stance of neutrality in the conflict, as repeatedly affirmed by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha. Therefore, the docking and sailing of Cloudbreak in Thailand were not at risk of seizure.
A report from the Bangkok Post indicated that at the time, Cloudbreak had sailed from Singapore to Samui on 1 July 2022.