Feds aim to seize two planes from Russian oligarch amid Ukraine war

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Feds aim to seize two planes from Russian oligarch amid Ukraine war

The US has moved to seize two private planes from a Russian oligarch after he ran afoul of sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, federal authorities said Monday.

Roman Abramovich, the former owner of Chelsea Football Club, didn’t have the licenses required to fly the US-made jets to his home country in March, according to records unsealed Monday.

One of the planes, a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, is reportedly one of the most expensive private jets in the world. It was bought by a shell company controlled by Abramovich in 2017 for more than $93 million, but was flown to Europe and customized by the businessman, the feds said. 

It’s now worth approximately $350 million, according to the feds. 

The second plane, which was paid for by another shell company, is a Gulfstream jet worth about $60 million, according to federal authorities. 

Federal law enforcement alleges Abramovich violated US sanctions by bringing both of the planes back to Russia in March 2022. 

Through sanctions, US authorities required a “re-export” license for some American-made aircraft, including the two owned by Abramovich. 

US Federal authorities allege Abramovich violated US sanctions by bringing both of the planes back to Russia in March 2022. 
US authorities allege Abramovich violated US sanctions by bringing both of the planes back to Russia in March 2022. 
Court Documents
Roman Abramovich, the former owner of Chelsea Football Club, didn't have the licenses required to fly the US-made jets to his home country.
Roman Abramovich, the former owner of Chelsea Football Club, didn’t have the licenses required to fly the US-made jets to his home country.
Michael Regan – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The planes are not currently in the hands of US investigators, but authorities are in “active pursuit,” according to the Department of Justice.

“They are publicly known as wanted property,” a DOJ official said. 

Through sanctions, US authorities required a “reexport” license for some American-made aircraft
Through sanctions, US authorities required a “re-export” license for some American-made aircraft.
Court Documents

The Boeing was flown to Dubai from Russia in March, which is its last known location, federal authorities said in the records unsealed Monday.

The Gulfstream was last tracked in Russia, according to the records. 

Abramovich sold his stake in the London soccer team Chelsea in May 2022 for nearly $5 billion, Forbes reported at the time. 

He made a fortune in Russia through investments in energy and steel companies in the country, according to Forbes. 

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