Seventh Largest Yacht Raided in Prostitution Sting15:10 07.04.2010
By William Stolerman
The world’s seventh largest yacht has been raided by police in Turkey in connection to prostitution.
Spanning 446 feet, the vessel in question is called Savarona and was boarded by police in a helicopter raid. Several people were taken into custody, one of whom was New York based property developer Tevfik Arif — the suspected organiser of an international ring of high-priced prostitutes operating on the lavish superyacht.
Built by Blohm & Voss in 1931, the boat is actually owned by the Republic of Turkey, and before the commotion erupted, was available for charter for $30,000 — $40,000 per day.
According to Bloomberg, aside from Arif a number of high-powered businessmen from Russia as well as Turkish government officials were also taken into custody by Turkish Military Police. The men are said to have paid $3,000 — $10,000 per night to sleep with Russian and Ukrainian models – some of whom were underage.
The raid was the result of seven months of police work and 10 Russian and Ukrainian women suspected of prostitution were also detained in the operation. When police arrived (around lunchtime) they found everyone in bed.
Arif’s lawyer Engin Agyuzlu said his client is the victim of a «smear campaign» and will «vigorously defend himself in any court of law.»
The boat can sleep 34 guests and features 260 tonnes of polished marble, a swimming pool, turkish bath, movie theatre, helipad and a 282-foot gold-trimmed grand staircase.