US Moves To Seize 2 Luxury Jets From Roman Abramovich Valued North Of $400 Million

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

On Monday the US moved to seize two luxury private jets from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. It marks one of the greatest single attempted seizures of a Russian oligarch's personal assets in the wake of the Putin-ordered military invasion of Ukraine, at a total value north of $400 million.

"U.S. authorities moved Monday to seize two luxury jets — a $60 million Gulfstream and a $350 million aircraft believed to be one of the world’s most expensive private airplanes — after linking both to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich," The Associated Press reports. One of the planes reportedly has an elaborate paper trail which attempted to shield and obscure Abramovich's ownership, the DOJ investigators uncovered.

Before it underwent lavish upgrades and customizations, the initial value of his giant Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, currently believed to be parked in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was less than $100 million. While it perhaps could be easier for the much smaller Gulfstream to evade the long arm of US law, the Boeing Dreamliner is without doubt too big to hide, unless it makes its way to Russia.

The warrant, signed by a federal magistrate judge Monday, indicates the aircraft are in violation of US sanctions given they were moved within a designated time period after sanctions took effect but without a US exemption license.

"In explaining the move to seize the planes, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit that the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft and the Gulfstream G650ER plane are subject to seizure because they have been moved between March 4 and March 15 without licenses being obtained in violation of sanctions placed against Russia," AP explains.

"According to the affidavit, Abramovich controlled the Gulfstream through a series of shell companies. The plane, it said, is believed to have been in Moscow since March 15," the report added.

And according to a profile last year of Abramovich's huge Dreamliner in Forbes Russia, "For personal needs, such huge aircraft are used very rarely" and often the aviation industries of entire countries don't have one.

The Dec.2021 profile detailed:

The Dreamliner, which Abramovich bought, was built in June 2015 for private Swiss airline Privateair but was never handed over to him. In 2019, its equipment began in accordance with the requests of the Russian billionaire. The plane reportedly can to carry up to 50 passengers: 10 seats are provided for security, 10 for staff and 30 for guests, says a Forbes source in the aviation market.

The flight range of the "dreamliner" is 18,418 km (with 25 passengers on board), the cabin area is 224.4 sq.m. The operator of the new vessel is the same as the previous one, owned by Abramovich – Global Jet Concept. At the same time, unlike its previous Boeing 767 aircraft, which received the code name "Bandit" due to the black "mask" on the cockpit windows, the new vessel is painted with extreme restraint. “It’s fashionable now – it helps to attract less attention,” the source explains.

Given his high visibility in the West, it's perhaps not a surprise that Abramovich's assets (which, until very recently, included Chelsea Football Club, the popular English Premier League team which he recently placed in the hands of a trust ahead of a sale) have been the focus of particular attention.

According to a recent FT report, he has at least five mega-yachts worth a combined total of about $1 billion. Two of the most expensive ones ended up in Turkey after fleeing European sanctions. At least one is believed to be in Montenegro.

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