Trouble in Paradise an ongoing tale of greed and corruption
February 15, 2013 1:04 PM   Subscribe

It all started last July when S/Y Phocea, one of the world's largest sailing yachts was arrested in Vanuatu.
There was speculation that it was running drugs or arms or was involved in money laundering.
A few days ago the owner Mr Pascal Anh Quan Saken and his brother had their passports detained in Papua New Guinea after the private jet they flew in arrived without proper clearance.
What the Vanuatu news media are saying, with added spice.
The past owner's of Phocea have been a colorful bunch as well.
posted by adamvasco (10 comments total)
There are probably only two ways to make enough money to own that ship, and neither of them are legal. (I would tell you what they are, but then I would have to kill you)
posted by HuronBob at 1:42 PM on February 15, 2013

The super power of these yachts appears to be causing confusion.
posted by srboisvert at 3:06 PM on February 15, 2013

How do you arrest an inanimate object?
posted by brokkr at 4:08 PM on February 15, 2013

I actually set foot on the Phocea in 1977 when it was called Club Méditerranée and owned by yachtsman Alain Colas (who had commissioned it to naval designer Michel Bigouin ; for those who wonder how such a boat was paid, ocean racers are superstars in France, and Colas was good at fundraising). Colas was touring Mediterranean ports for publicity and people were lining up to visit the boat. Colas's ill-fated trimaran Manureva was anchored next to it and seemed tiny in comparison (21 m vs 72 m) even though the trimaran was supposed to be a giant. The Phocea is really large.
In any case, since the Phocea next owner was billionaire/businessman/douchebag/politician/actor/sports manager/singer/convicted felon/fraudster/TV host Bernard Tapie, who is as unsinkable as Molly Brown, I'm not too worried about Mr Quan.
posted by elgilito at 4:52 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd say "first world problem", but it's more like 0.001 world problem.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:11 PM on February 15, 2013

That's a hell of a big boat.
posted by jquinby at 5:32 PM on February 15, 2013

Look, it was just doing what all the other continents were doing.
posted by telstar at 7:45 PM on February 15, 2013

Yeah, as elgilito points out, in French minds, the Phocea is irredeemably linked to Bernard Tapie, a sort of French Donald Trump, only more truculent. Her new owners will have to do much worse than some small-time gun-running for anybody to take notice.
posted by Skeptic at 1:08 AM on February 16, 2013

It was previously registered in Luxembourg?!? How in the heck do you register a yacht in a landlocked country? (Possible answer: $$$$)
posted by easily confused at 7:38 AM on February 16, 2013

easily confused see Flag of covenience offered by all these states.
Details about some of these countries registration requirements (pdf).
Skeptic apparantly the brothers are know for Arms trading and had flown into Port Moresby from Mali.
posted by adamvasco at 8:10 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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