US wants to seize Russian billionaire’s planes

The two airplanes, worth $400 million, belong to Roman Abramovich

A US court on Monday issued warrants for the seizure of two luxury planes owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. According to a press release from the Department of Justice, the move is part of the recent sanctions issued against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

Authorities say the American-made planes were flown into, and out, of Russia without obtaining licenses from the US Commerce Department. Airplanes and aircraft parts are subject to export rules because of their potential military use and national security implications.

The airplanes in question are a $350-million Boeing 787 Dreamliner and a $60-million Gulfstream G650 ER. “The Boeing was flown to Russia on March 4, 2022 without a BIS license, and is now in the United Arab Emirates,” the report said, adding that “The Gulfstream was flown to Russia on March 12 and 15, 2022 without a BIS license, and remains in Russia.”

READ MORE: Poland suggests plan for seized Russian assets

The department may seek to fine Abramovich up to $328,121 per unlicensed flight, or nearly $1 million for the three flights, among other penalties.

Western countries have been on the hunt for Russian assets to sanction after Moscow’s launch of its military operation in Ukraine in February. Thousands of Russian individuals have since been sanctioned, with their properties and money seized or frozen by authorities in the US and other countries, as well as by the EU.

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