Briatore takes back possession of seized yacht

Wed, 23 June 2010, 10:01

Jun.23 (GMM) Italian police have handed back Flavio Briatore’s luxury yacht.

The former Renault boss’ 60-metre boat ‘Force Blue’ was seized a month ago on suspicion of tax fraud.

But according to a report in the Spanish newspaper Diario Sport, Briatore has taken back possession with two conditions.

The first is a deposit of 5 million euros, and the promise that the boat will not leave Mediterranean waters.

The Sunday Times said in May that the evasion of millions in taxes could cost Briatore, expelled from F1 for the 2009 crashgate scandal, EUR 40 million in fines or a six-year prison sentence.

The 60-year-old denies any wrongdoing.

“It was a big television production by the police and completely unfair, so we are fighting them now,” he told the Telegraph.

“That boat was a commercial boat with a 50 million euro turnover in the past four years, but the police seem to think that was all for me.”

Briatore does not deny using the boat, and claims he is supported by seven Italian MPs who have written to the government “to find out what happened”.

“Of course, I use the yacht, because if you are going to own a business, it may as well be one you can enjoy — otherwise, I would have bought a funeral home.”

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