The former head of Renault F1 team Flavio Briatore is to be put on trial in Italy for evading VAT, fuel surcharges and other taxes on his superyacht
Italian businessman Flavio Briatore is to face trial in Italy following alleged tax evasion on his superyacht.
Police impounded the 64-year-old’s luxury yacht in May 2010, claiming that Mr Briatore had evaded VAT, fuel surcharges and other taxes totalling €5m.
The former Queen’s Park Rangers owner claims his superyacht Force Blue, which is registered in the Cayman Islands, was being used for charter during the summer season at a cost of €245,000 a week.
However, investigators from Italy’s tax and frontier police say it was used to throw lavish parties and his family spent months living onboard.
Italy’s law enforcement agency also claims that the crew of the vessel broke the law when refuelling in European waters without paying VAT.
Mr Briatore denies all the charges against him and claims there are legitimate tax reasons for the boat being registered in the Cayman Islands.
Force Blue is a trawler-expedition style luxury yacht and was originally built by Royal Denship in 2002.
Mr Briatore acquired the yacht for £68.2m and completely refitted her interior.