Yacht Owned by Turkish Government Seized in Sex Scandal
The Turkish government owned yacht, Savarona, was confiscated following media reports that a vice ring had used the vessel to throw sex parties with prostitutes.
The 446 foot luxury yacht, was leased to evfik Arif, a Kazakh businessman and chairman of Bayrock Group LLC, a property group that partnered with the Trump Organization to build the SoHo Hotel Condominium and a Trump Tower in Florida.
Arif, along with two Russian nationals, were charged with setting up a criminal gang, organizing prostitution and human trafficking. The two were taken into custody, as well as Russian, Kyrgyz and Kazakh businessmen and high-level government officials.
10 Russian and Ukrainian women suspected of prostitution were also detained in the operation, and one was later released. Two of those women were younger than the minimum age of 18 for legal sexual consent in Turkey.
Turkish media reports said Arif had rented the yacht for four or five days at a daily rate of $50,000 and authorities claim Arif charged his clients $3,000 to $10,000 per night to sleep with Russian and Ukrainian women obtained through modeling agencies.
The Turkish military policeman who led the helicopter raid on the Savarona told Milliyet News that the team found all the yacht’s guests in bed when they landed around lunchtime. The official, who declined to be identified according to the newspaper, said they found dozens of condoms in each room, and didn’t initially find any drugs, illegal weapons or video equipment that could be used for blackmail.
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