Italian police have seized Flavio Briatore’s yacht.
A week after the banned former Renault boss hosted Bernie Ecclestone on the 60-metre Force Blue on the Monaco harbour, police boarded it on Thursday.
They had followed the yacht with high speed boats to the port of La Spezia, near the northern city of Genoa, with the 60-year-old Italian, his wife Elisabetta and new son Falco all on board.
Local prosecutor Walter Cotugno ordered the boat be impounded on the suspicion it is improperly registered as a charter.
Investigators suspect Briatore has registered it in the Cayman Islands, with a hire price of 275,000 euros a week, in order to obtain a tax break and to avoid paying sales tax when anchoring in European harbours.
They suspect the yacht is not chartered at all and in fact is used only by Briatore’s family.