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US confiscates two planes owned by Abramovich

THE United States government has ordered the seizure of two aircraft belonging to Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich. 

According to multiple reports and a court filing on Monday seen by news platform, Al Arabiya English, the US believes a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and a Gulfstream G650ER aircraft ‘owned and/or controlled’ by Abramovich violated a sanctions regime, Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA).

The sanctions can be applied to the two planes under Russian sanctions imposed after Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February.

The two US-manufactured planes flew without being given the needed export licenses from the US Department of Commerce.

According to a statement from the US Justice Department, the Boeing which now is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulfstream is in Russia “are owned and controlled by Roman Abramovich, a Russia national, through a series of shell companies in Cyprus, Jersey, and the British Virgin Islands.”

The Wall Street Journal had  previously reported that Washington was holding off on sanctioning Abramovich after he played a role in trying to mediate peace between Ukraine and Russia, despite the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) slapping him with sanctions.

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) Director John Sonderman in a statement said, “Russian oligarchs such as Abramovich will not be permitted to violate US export regulations without consequence.”

 “Those that violate the expansive export controls imposed on Russia will ultimately find themselves the target of investigations by OEE Special Agents and our law enforcement partners,” he added.

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