Ukraine trawlers impounded in Las Palmas following attempt to bypass sanctions

Russian trawlers – Image Okunin /

A Ukrainian fishing company has tried to bypass sanctions by excluding two of its vessels docked in Las Palmas from its register of ships.

The two vessels, ‘Kaptain Rusak’ and ‘Professor Mikhail Alexandrov’, are said to belong to the Fishing Company Limited according to official Las Palmas Port Authority (APLP) records. Ukrainian news channels report that the company has attempted to transfer the vessels which have been docked in Las Palmas since the beginning of the month, to the Russian businessman Akmal Mamarakhimov who owns Victoria Celeste LLP.

Mamarakhimov is known to have links with the Russian government and is said to have significant interests in mining. The belief is that the ships will be handed over to the Russian state investment and development company Veb RF in payment for a “fictitious debt.”

Spanish news agency Información reported on Monday, February 20 that Ukrainian officials had opened criminal proceedings against several officials of its own State Fisheries Agency. The agency cites Spanish authorities who say that their assistance has been requested in impounding the vessels.

The owners of the vessels claim that the transfer of the two vessels to the Russian businessman is purely a commercial arrangement and is separate from the Ukraine conflict. They are said to have challenged the request by Ukraine´s authorities and have requested the release of the ships.

‘Kaptain Rusak’ sails under a Cameroon flag whilst the ‘Professor Mikhail Alexandrov’ sails under the New Zealand flag where the ship usually fishes. The two vessels, which have a capacity 1,810 tons of fishing each, are valued at around €10 million.

The alleged bypassing of sanctions attempt in Las Palmas by the Ukraine shipping company was apparently flagged by the company´s auditors.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at