Jun 6, 2022 - World

DOJ moves to seize jets owned by Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich
Roman Abramovich. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday signed off on a warrant allowing the Department of Justice to seize two U.S.-made aircraft owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Why it matters: It is yet another step by the U.S. and its allies to seize the assets of wealthy Russians with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The big picture: The U.S. imposed new sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine that included expanded bans on the "export, reexport, or in-country transfer of, among other things, aircraft and aircraft parts ... to or within Russia without a license," FBI agent Alan Fowler wrote in an affidavit filed to the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

  • The two jets belonging to Abramovich are a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and a Gulfstream G650ER.
  • Both aircraft were manufactured in the U.S. and require a special license to be flown from a foreign country into Russia.
  • "But no licenses were applied for or issued. Nor was any license exception available, including because the Boeing and the Gulfstream were each owned and/or controlled by a Russian national: Roman Abramovich," Fowler wrote.
  • The Gulfstream jet is believed to be currently in Russia, while the Dreamliner was flown to Russia in violation of regulations in March and is currently in Dubai.

Flashback: Abramovich was sanctioned by the U.K. in March in the wake of Russia's invasion.

Go deeper