SPANISH billionaire Jaime Botin, owner of the super yacht Adix, a familiar visitor to Falmouth for refits at the Pendennis Shipyard during the past 20 years, has been given an 18-month jail sentence and fined £45 million for trying to smuggle a Picasso painting out of Spain.

Apart from the fine, the Spanish state has confiscated the valuable painting.

Botin, 83, who is reported to be worth £1.3 billion, is a member of the family which runs the Santander banking group. His niece Ana Botin is chief executive of Santander.

Spanish authorities took a keen interest in Mr Botin in 2015 after he had asked for a government export permit to take the painting out of the country.

In 2015 the Spanish High Court ruled that the painting was a “national treasure” which could not be removed from Spain.

Spain has strict heritage laws which state that anything over 100 years old, which is of national importance in terms of cultural identity, can be designated a national treasure.

Botin kept the painting onboard Adix, which was only on display when he spent time on his super yacht.

The rest of the time it was boxed up in the Captain’s cabin for safe keeping despite being told by a Spanish heritage organisation that a yacht was inappropriate for storing such a treasure.

The Picasso painting “Head of a Young Woman” worth an estimated £22 million, was snatched from Adix, off Corsica in 2015.

Acting on a tip off French and Spanish authorities raided the Adix when she was anchored off the Corsican town of Calvi in 2015.

Prosecutors claim that Botin had planned to have the painting flown from Corsica to Switzerland from where he intended to sell it.

Spanish authorities removed the painting from the yacht and transferred it to the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, where it remains for the time being.

In 2014 the magnificent 65 metre long Adix began an eight months long comprehensive refit at the Pendennis Shipyard where she is well known to the directors and workforce.

Adix underwent engineering works which included the fitting of new generators and main engine, as well as a redesign of the yacht’s deckhouse, which was moved further forward and combined with a seating area to provide better interaction with the owner’s accommodation.

The schooner, which has twice taken part in the Pendennis Cup Races, was undergoing her fourth refit at the Falmouth yard.

The billionaire Spaniard acquired Adix from Australian beer magnate Alan Bond who had named the schooner XXXX after his famous beer.

Botin is unlikely to serve the prison time ordered due to his age and the fact that he is a first-time offender.