France Auctions Off a Seized Yacht With a Golden Hull

Stefania (Agrasc / De Baecque)

Published Dec 19, 2023 11:16 PM by The Maritime Executive

One year after it first went up for sale, an award-winning yacht is being auctioned off by France's asset forfeiture agency for half the original asking price. 

The French judicial sale agency Agrasc (Agence de gestion et de recouvrement des avoirs saisis et confisqués) has ordered the auction of the superyacht Stefania, winner of a BOAT Design & Innovation 2022 award. The vessel is nearly brand new, with just 200 hours on her main engines and hardly a scratch on the hull. 

Stefania was built by Dynamiq, a Monaco-based firm with a yard in Turkey. She is the shipbuilder's largest vessel yet at 135 feet, and has a distinctive gold-painted hull. The vessel's interior features a rare shipboard fireplace (fully functional). 

According to Monaco-Matin, the Stefania was seized during a money-laundering investigation targeting an unnamed Belarusian billionaire. The details of the case have not been disclosed, but the vessel was reportedly found in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, a luxurious yacht harbor between Nice and Monaco. 

On January 25, Stefania will be auctioned off in a live proceeding to be held on the helipad of the International Yacht Club Antibes, about 12 nm down the coast from Beaulieu. The sale is listed with the title "So That Crime Does Not Pay" in the auctioneer's catalogue, and it is expected to net about $8-10 million. (The brokerage's asking price for the vessel just last year was in the range of $20 million.)

Auction house De Baecque is handling the sale on behalf of Agrasc. The French forfeiture agency is as new as the yacht: it was just formed in 2021, with a mission to centralize and organize all law-enforcement asset seizures in the nation.