Stewart Campbell, Motor Boat & Yachting,
Submitted by: Editor
Flavio Briatore’s Force Blue Impounded by Italian Police
The 62-metre superyacht owned by Flavio Briatore, former Formula One boss and part owner of Queens Park Rangers football club, has been impounded by Italian police over unpaid taxes.
Armed police stormed the former ice-breaker, Force Blue, last week while Briatore's wife, the Wonderbra model Elisabetta Gregoraci, was on board with the couple's two-month-old son. Briatore himself was not reported to have been on board.
Investigators believe Briatore could owe as much as £3.5m in unpaid taxes, and have alleged that he broke the law by not paying VAT on fuel taken on in EU waters.
Briatore was handed a lifetime ban - later overturned - from Formula One last year after he was found guilty of ordering driver Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash at the Singapore Grand Prix, and in 2007 he organised a £14m takeover of QPR with Bernie Ecclestone and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.