A £700 million superyacht said to belong to Russian despot Vladimir Putin is technically free to sail, the CEO of the firm carrying out its refit has revealed.

The Scheherazade – which is listed as the 13th largest yacht in the world – has been at the centre of scrutiny for the last two weeks after reports claimed it was owned by Putin.

She is currently undergoing repairs at Marina di Carrara’s dry dock, close to Pisa. This month, the Italian financial police boarded her and began investigating who its true owner was.

Earlier this week allies of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny claimed it was Putin’s yacht and hours later Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky demanded it be seized when he addressed MPs in Rome.

Giovanni Costantino, the CEO of The Italian Sea Group who are carrying out the refit said today that the yacht was now free to sail, as she had not been issued any confiscation papers.

Scheherazade, the world's 13th largest superyacht remain moored in a dry dock in Italy as rumours continue that it belongs to Vladimir Putin

Scheherazade is the 13th-largest superyacht in the world. It’s currently moored at a dry dock in Italy, rumours persist that it belonged to Vladimir Putin.

He said:’ There is no order so the yacht can leave but technically as there is work being done it won’ t be happening, she is in dry dock.

‘The refit taking place will go on until the end of April and then there will have to be checks, mainly technical, so before it leaves the dry dock it will be June at the earliest.’

When asked by a local newspaper if the yacht belonged to Putin, Mr Costantino replied: ‘I’ll be honest we just don’t know.

‘What I will say is that we have handed over paperwork as requested by the authorities, and it has emerged that the owner is Russian.

‘However, his name is not Putin and the name we have is not on the list of oligarchs which are under investigation.

‘If there was anything untoward then the yacht would have been seized immediately but for the time being that just hasn’t happened.’

The Scheherazade is under close security today with guards monitoring the perimeter fence, where top two decks might be quickly over the high wall.

Today, The Scheherazade was under tight security with guards patrolling the perimeter fence

The Scheherazade is under close security today with guards monitoring the perimeter fence

It boasts luxurious fittings such as a spa with a front and back helicopter landing pad and a jacuzzi.

The self-leveling pool table and cryotherapy room are also available. There’s even a grand-piano that plays Vladimir Putin Is a Fine Fellow.

The yacht was being maintained by workers. Guy Bennett-Pearce, the British captain of the vessel, did not respond to calls.

A pal of his who asked not to be named but who worked with him in Australia said:’ I worked with Guy on a yacht around 15 years ago and we last spoke about ten years ago.

‘He’s a very able captain and he’s a good sailor but at the same time he is very discreet and he will not say anything that will cause the owners any bad publicity.’   

Russian crew members who had been aboard the yacht earlier in the month mysteriously disappeared and were later replaced by British ones.

Mr Costantino added:’ The work onboard is going on 24/24, round the clock so it’s usual for these sort of changes to happen.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday urged Italy to seize a £500million superyacht thought to be owned by Vladimir Putin (pictured)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday urged Italy to seize a £500million superyacht thought to be owned by Vladimir Putin (pictured)

‘But the crew isn’t entirely Russian, they are made up of various nationalities.’

Paolo Gozzani, chief of the local union met with Marina di Carrara port officials to discuss the most recent developments regarding the yacht.

Afterwards he told MailOnline:’ They are completely in dark as we all are. No-one seems to know what’s happening with the yacht.

‘There was a rumour the police were going to impound her, but nothing has happened and so that’s obviously not right.

‘What I’m worried about is what will happen to the employees at the yard if she is seized because it’s my members livelihoods at stake.

The Italian investigation into the ownership of the Scheherazade comes as authorities across Europe have raced to identify and seize yachts tied to Russian oligarchs named in new sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine

As authorities around Europe race to seize and identify yachts linked to Russian oligarchs, the Italian probe into Scheherazade’s ownership comes amid an investigation by Italy

The Scheherazade, currently docked for repairs at the Italian Sea Group shipyard in Marina di Carrara, Italy, is one of the largest and most expensive superyachts in the world, and since its launch in 2020, its true ownership has been cloaked in absolute secrecy

Scheherazade currently docked at Marina di Carrara shipyard for repairs, Italy. This superyacht is among the biggest and most costly in the world. Since its launch in 2020 its true owner has been shrouded in total secrecy

‘I asked about the captain and the crew but all they could tell me was the Russians were all taken away at night in minibuses and they were replaced by a British crew.’

MailOnline was told by a shipyard worker that he had left the company: “We were told not to speak or we would lose our jobs.” This yard is known for its yacht-building work, and most of the customers are Russian.

“I am working somewhere else in the yard, but a friend on the boat that they call Putin’s says they will be taking up the floors on the decks and replacing them. Her stay will last for a few more months.

A spokesperson for the Italian Financial Police said:’ The investigations are ongoing and for the time being there is nothing to add, when there is we will make an announcement.’

Putin’s other yacht’ – A smaller and older vessel, called GRACEFUL

A smaller, older vessel, the Graceful (seen leaving Hamburg last month), has long been suspected of belonging to Putin

Putin is long believed to be the owner of a smaller vessel and an older one, known as Graceful.

 Vladimir Putin claims that he is only moderately-wealthy, but is suspected of secretly harboring a $100 billion fortune.

Putin is long suspected to have a smaller and more seasoned vessel called the Graceful. 

The Graceful is the only superyacht in the world. Its hull was built at a Russian naval shipyard before it was finished in Germany, according to an industry source.

About two weeks prior to Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, The Graceful left Germany and docks at Russia’s Baltic Sea enclave Kaliningrad.

The Scheherazade, however, is stuck in drydock in Italy undergoing repairs, and a person familiar with the matter said that it would be impossible for it to sail before the end of March. 

The Graceful left port in Germany on February 7 (above), about two weeks before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and is currently docked at Russia's Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad, safely out of the reach of Western sanctions

The Graceful, which left Germany’s port on February 7, (above), two weeks prior to Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, is now docked at Russia’s Baltic Sea Enclave of Kaliningrad. It’s safe and out of Western sanctions.