A yacht believed to have been built for Saddam Hussein is for sale:
A shadowy company based in the Cayman Islands is trying to sell the mahogany-and-marble festooned floating palace on behalf of persons unknown. The cash-strapped Iraqi government, engaged in a relentless pursuit of Saddam’s hidden billions, has just won an important legal battle in the Nice commercial court. The sale of the Ocean Breeze has been frozen under French law until its ownership is established.
The ship’s history is a bit muddled:
In 1986, five years after the Ocean Breeze was delivered to Iraq — in the middle of the country’s war with its neighbour, Iran — Saddam is believed to have moved her to the Saudi port of Jeddah, out of the range ofIranian bombers.
According to one version of events, the Saudi royal family is said to have taken possession of the yacht after Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990. The Qadisiyah Saddam then allegedly became the al-Yamamah. There is no record, however, of the boat ever being used during the next 17 years. It remained in Jeddah, with a Greek crew of 12, sailing to Piraeus near Athens once every two years for servicing.
According to the French press, the Saudis recently gave the boat to King Abdullah II of Jordan as a present. In the autumn of last year, the newly named Ocean Breeze moved from Jeddah to the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba. In November it sailed on to Nice and was put up for sale.
It’s not believed that Saddam ever set foot aboard the ship. His other super yacht, Al Mansur (The Victor), was bombed and burned out during the 2003 invasion.