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US To Seize Russian Oligarch Andrei Skoch's $90 Mln Plane For Violating Sanctions

andreiskoch aug09 lt

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has issued a warrant to seize Russian oligarch Andrei Skoch's private plane, valued at more than $90 million, for violating U.S. sanctions for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Skoch's Airbus A319-100 is believed to be in Kazakhstan.

A member of Russian parliament and a metals and mining tycoon, Skoch has been on the U.S. blacklist since 2018 for Russia's invasion of Crimea, the eastern region of Ukraine.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)OFAC issued further sanctions against Skoch and his assets for "support[ing] the Kremlin's efforts to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity." On June 2, OFAC identified the Airbus as blocked property in which Skoch had an interest.

Skoch is the beneficial owner of the Airbus through a series of shell companies and trusts tied to his romantic partner. After OFAC designated Skoch in April 2018, U.S. dollar transactions were made to pay for the registration of the Airbus in Aruba and for aviation insurance premiums for the Airbus.

The seizure warrant notes that, in addition to the plane, Skoch owns a yacht named the Madame Gu, a helicopter, and a villa at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Seychelles. Those assets are not authorized for seizure. Authorities need to demonstrate that sanctions were violated, such as by money transferring through the US banking system, to seize property.

Skoch is the latest Russian oligarch to have one of his luxury assets that the U.S. government targeted.

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