The U.S. government has seized a mega yacht in Spain owned by an oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This is the first time the US government has seized an oligarch yacht since assembling a task force to target the country. Russian The elite in response to the Kremlin’s attack Ukraine.
Spanish Civil Guards and U.S. Federal Agents disembarked at Marina Real Tango in the port of Palma de Mallorca, the capital of Spain’s Balearic Islands.
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The 78-meter ship is priced at £ 91.5m by superyachtfan.com, a specialized website that tracks the world’s largest and most exclusive recreational boats.
The U.S. Department of Justice, which has received a warrant from a federal judge in Washington, alleges that the yacht should be confiscated for U.S. bank fraud, money laundering and violations of sanctions.
On Monday morning, Associated Press reporters at the scene saw police boarding and leaving the ship.
The yacht is one of the assets associated with billionaire Victor Wexelberg.
He is a close ally of Putin and head of the Moscow-based Renova Group, a combination of metals, mines and other resources, according to US Treasury Department documents.
In the United States, all of Mr. Wexelberg’s assets have been frozen, and American companies have been barred from doing business with him and his companies.
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He was banned by the United States in 2018 and again in March of this year, shortly after the invasion of Ukraine.
He has also been approved by the UK authorities.
More than 1,000 Russian oligarchs And the agencies have been approved by the UK since Russia’s invasion of the neighboring country.
This is the first U.S. seizure since Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen merged a task force known as REPO – short for Russian elite, proxies and oligarchs – in response to Russian aggression.
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In a statement, Mr Garland said “this is not going to end.”
French and Italian authorities also seized yachts and assets belonging to Russian oligarchs.