NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. authorities on Monday decided to seize two luxury jets — a $60 million Gulfstream and a $350 million plane considered one of the most expensive private planes in the world — after linked the two to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
A federal magistrate has signed a warrant authorizing the seizure of the Gulfstream and a Boeing plane that authorities say were worth less than $100 million before a lavish customization.
The action comes just days after the United States announced new sanctions and penalties against Russian oligarchs and elites, Kremlin officials, businessmen linked to President Vladimir Putin and their yachts, planes and companies that manage them.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, President Joe Biden vowed to pursue the “ill-gotten gains” of Russian elites.
Abramovich, who recently sold his stake in Chelsea FC, a Premier League football club in London, is among the wealthiest Russians whose assets are being watched for breaching sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.
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In explaining the decision to seize the planes, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit that the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft and the Gulfstream G650ER aircraft are likely to be seized as they were moved between the 4th and 15th March without licenses having been obtained in violation. sanctions imposed on Russia.
According to the affidavit, Abramovich controlled the Gulfstream through a series of front companies. The plane, he added, had been in Moscow since March 15.
The Boeing, meanwhile, is believed to be in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, after a March 4 return flight from Dubai to Moscow, according to the affidavit.
Associated Press writer Fatima Hussein in Washington contributed to this report.
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