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Federal prosecutors have secured a warrant for the hijacking of a $ 90 million plane owned by Russian billionaire and politician Andrei Skoch, subject to sanctions since 2018.

Skoch, whose net worth is set at $ 6.2 billion by Forbes, is the actual owner of the Airbus A319-100 through several shell companies linked to his romantic partner, according to the mandate.

The Treasury Department initially sanctioned him in April 2018 because of his “long-standing links with Russian organized criminal groups, including the time he spent leading one of these businesses.”

A judge has authorized a warrant for the seizure of the $ 90 million Airbus A319-100 of Russian billionaire Andrei Skoch.
(United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York)

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the Treasury Department slapped it with additional sanctions for “support”.[ing] the Kremlin’s efforts to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity “.

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Skoch has a significant stake in USM Holdings Limited, a Russian company with activities in the metals, mining and telecommunications sectors, according to the mandate.

“Today’s action demonstrates that the US government will be relentless in our efforts to bring to justice those who are allowing Putin’s atrocious war against Ukraine,” the deputy secretary of trade for enforcement said Monday. exports Matthew S. Axelrod.

Skoch also owns a 324-foot, $ 156 million yacht that has been reported as frozen by the Treasury Department.

The investigation was led by Task Force KleptoCapture, the Justice Department’s inter-agency operation that is applying sweeping sanctions against the Russian economy and officials close to the Kremlin in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

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“The sanctions imposed by the US government and the work of this task force show these offensive and wealthy oligarchs who support Russian military aggression that they are not untouchable and we are having a dramatic impact on their way of life,” added the Deputy Director in Charge of the FBI Michael J. Driscoll said in a statement.

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