US Obtains Warrant to Seize $45 Million Planes from Russian Company

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Release” alt=”The United States obtained a warrant on Wednesday to seize a Boeing 737-7EM belonging to PJSC LUKOIL. Photo courtesy of the United States Department of Justice/Release“/>

The United States obtained a warrant on Wednesday to seize a Boeing 737-7EM belonging to PJSC LUKOIL. Photo courtesy of US Department of Justice/Release

September 1 (UPI) — Federal prosecutors said they obtained a warrant to seize a Boeing 737 belonging to a Russian multinational oil and gas company, accused of violating sanctions imposed following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The plane is the latest Russian-owned asset that the United States and its allies have sought to seize over sanctions violations as they seek to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine and pressure its government to let him cease his invasion.

The Justice Department said in a statement on Wednesday that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas had authorized it via a warrant to seize a Boeing 737-7EM belonging to PJSC LUKOIL, headquartered in the capital Moscow. Russian.

Federal attorneys said the plane violated U.S. Commerce Department sanctions imposed following the Kremlin’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, which prohibit export, re-export and transfer into the country products and goods made in the United States, including aircraft.

The Department of Justice values ​​the plane at around $45 million.

According to federal attorneys, the plane last flew in the United States in March 2019 when it landed in Houston, Texas with LUKOIL officials on board, including the company’s president and CEO, Vagit Alekperov.

Alekperov, a Russian oligarch, resigned from the company in April after being hit with sanctions imposed by Britain and the European Union.

PJSC LUKOIL has also been subject to US sectoral sanctions since September 2014.

The federal department said it believed the plane was currently in Russia, and its interagency and international law enforcement task force, KleptoCapture, would be leading the seizure operation.

“The task force will continue to leverage all of the department’s tools and authorities to combat efforts to evade or undermine the collective actions taken by the U.S. government in response to Russian military aggression,” the department said. of Justice.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine six months ago, the United States and its allies have targeted the assets of Russian oligarchs, especially those within President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, to pressure him into end the war.

Superyachts, multimillion-dollar planes and other luxury assets owned by wealthy Russians and their businesses have been seized in recent months.

On August 8, federal prosecutors received a warrant to seize Russian politician Andrei Skoch’s $90 million private jet.

In late June, US authorities seized a $300 million superyacht belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kermiov.

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