U.S. seizes $1B worth of Russian assets abroad

U.S. seizes $1B worth of Russian assets abroad

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, the United States has seized over USD 1 billion of private Russian assets in other countries.

According to Ukrinform, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco reported this to CBS News.

"We've grounded planes in Switzerland and the Middle East. We've arrested smugglers in Italy, in Germany, in Latvia. We've charged money launderers in the U.K. So basically, what we've shown is there's no place to hide," she said.

Monaco’s office manages the KleptoCapture working group, a division of the Department of Justice established in March 2022 to enforce sanctions against Russian oligarchs and search for their hidden assets around the world. According to the deputy attorney general, this work is based on broad cooperation with foreign partners.

"What we're seeing is this really unprecedented, galvanized international community coming together to isolate the Putin regime, to condemn its incredible brutality against the Ukrainian people," she stated.

KleptoCapture is not only looking for Kremlin henchmen hiding assets but also for those helping oligarchs avoid sanctions.

"To banks, to [the] aviation industry, to insurance companies, all who have to make that asset go—it's a sign and a warning to them: Be careful with whom you're dealing because we are watching," Monaco stressed. "And there will be consequences if you aid and abet the evasion of these sanctions."

Read also: Finnish company suspected of violating anti-Russian sanctions

Last year, the Department of Justice confiscated a USD 300 million superyacht in Fiji that belonged to oligarch Suleyman Kerimov. They also demanded the confiscation of a USD 90 million yacht off the coast of Spain that belonged to oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

Among the luxury items that the U.S. Department of Justice has been trying to confiscate since the beginning of Russia's war are a USD 60 million Gulfstream jet and a USD 350 million Boeing aircraft registered to a network of five shell companies and an anonymous trust linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Monaco said that it is still necessary to obtain authorization from the Congress to use the funds for the benefit of the Ukrainian people.

As Ukrinform reported, the Ministry of Finance called on international partners to make progress in finding mechanisms to finance the country's recovery with frozen Russian funds.

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