U.S. court orders seizure of Abramovich’s aircraft
A U.S. judge has authorised the seizure of two aircraft owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich for violating export restrictions and U.S. sanctions on Russia.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) said a federal judge in New York authorised the seizure requested by federal agents of a Boeing 787-8 and a Gulfstream G650ER.
The seizure and forfeiture were “based on probable cause of violations of the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) and the recent sanctions issued against Russia,’’ the DoJ said in a statement.
The aircraft, with an estimated combined value of more than $410 million is owned and controlled by the former owner of Chelsea FC.
U.S. authorities charged that each aircraft was flown from a third country to Russia in March.
According to the DoJ, Boeing is currently in the United Arab Emirates, while the Gulfstream remains in Russia.
It was initially unclear how or when the U.S. authorities might be able to seize the aircraft.
However, the ruling is likely to make it challenging to use the planes for international travel in the future.
The U.S. authorities were also seeking fines of up to twice the value of the planes.
Mr Abramovich, 55, is one of the Russian billionaires targeted by sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.