Russian Billionaire Could Have Jets Seized After Restructuring Their Ownership

US Private Jet's Seizure - Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash

U.S. Wins Authority To Seize Russian Oligarch’s Planes – Reuters.com

A U.S. court issued seizure warrants for two luxury planes owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, but the government is uncertain whether it will gain control of the aircraft.

A federal judge issued warrants against Abramovich for violating U.S. export controls after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The warrants are likely to dissuade companies from helping to move the aircraft.

The Commerce Department said that Abramovich’s Gulfstream and Boeing violated export controls by flying to Russia after the restrictions went into effect. The department may seek to fine Abramovich up to $328,121 per flight or nearly $1 million for the three flights.

Abramovich owned the planes through shell companies registered in Cyprus, Jersey and the British Virgin Islands.

In February he reorganized the ownership structure to make his children the beneficiaries of a trust that ultimately owns both planes. However, he continued effectively to own and control the planes when they flew to Moscow the next month, according to the Commerce Department.

Abramovich, who helped mediate talks between Moscow and Kyiv during the early days of the war, has not personally been sanctioned by the United States. He has been sanctioned by the European Union and Britain.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. U.S. wins authority to seize Russian oligarch’s planes  Reuters.com
  2. DOJ moves to seize 2 planes worth more than $400 million from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich  CNBC
  3. Justice Department seizing Russian oligarch’s massive private jet  NBC News
  4. US moves to seize $350M plane from Russian oligarch; Zelenskyy says war ‘fatigue is growing’ in West: Live Ukraine updates  USA TODAY
  5. Federal judge authorizes US to seize two of Roman Abramovich’s private jets  The Guardian US
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News
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