I’m a superyacht captain and prostitution and drugs parties are common
THE captain of a superyacht has said prostitution and drugs parties are commonplace and that normal laws don’t seem to apply for owners.
The sailor – who can’t be named for legal reasons – told of weekly food orders costing more £33,000 being flown in from Paris and morning-after clean-ups to remove any traces of party drugs.
Speaking with The Guardian, the man said rich owners, in particular Russian oligarchs, liked to hide their wealth behind “a mess of shell companies” in tax havens in the Marshall Islands or Cayman Islands.
It comes as Western powers seize a number of mega yachts owned by oligarchs close to the Kremlin.
Igor Sechin, who heads Russia’s oil conglomerate Rosneft, had what’s believed to be his huge £450million mega yacht seized by Spanish authorities in March.
Russia’s richest man Alexei Mordashov also had his £45million vessel impounded by Italian cops as Europe roll through their hit list.
And authorities in southern Europe also swarmed a luxury vessel named Scheherazade amid suspicions it belongs to Vladimir Putin.
“They’re operated in a super-secretive way so they can use them and deflect attention from the ownership,” the captain said, who asked to remain anonymous due to confidentiality agreements he signed with former employers.
Some of those non-disclosure agreements, seen by The Guardian, have to be signed before a job interview and often stops employees sharing the identities of their owners online.
Posting photos online or even taking drawings of the boat is a no-no and could see you fired.
One contract shows employees must consent to undergo polygraph lie detector tests if required.
He says this is because normal laws don’t apply to these floating mega-mansions.
Employees are also expected to conduct deep cleans to remove any trace party drugs like cocaine, especially when the yacht is moving from one European territory into another and where custom officials can conduct spot checks.
The unnamed captain – who claims to have sailed on many super yachts through the Caribbean and Mediterranean – also claimed prostitution was an open secret, with women regularly ferried in on boats.
The industry is “very sexist, ageist and racist”, he said, pointing to the fact few boats are staffed by non-white crew and how female employees are usually required to send a full-length profile photo in their applications.
He said friends and former colleague have spoken of female crew members being forced to test regularly for sexually transmitted diseases while on some ships, sex is traded for luxury watches.
“It’s the norm in the industry. The owners want to hook up with the stewardesses. It’s quite crazy, and disgusting,” he said.
But with staff able to earn up to £3800 a month, mostly tax-free – it’s no wonder workers keep crawling back.
According to the publication, chefs in some of the biggest yachts can earn as much as £34,000 a month.
“The billionaires, it’s their toy,” the captain said. “The money is just a number to them at the end of the day. They’ll pay crazy amounts just to make it work.”