At least two superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs have been seized by authorities in the European Union after the executives were sanctioned following their country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The move to target these assets comes as the U.S. Justice Department announced a new task force that will help enforce sweeping sanctions against Russian oligarchs. The task force will use various tools at its disposable, including cryptocurrency tracing, to track down assets to seize and prosecute those who violate the sanctions.
Meanwhile, the United States and their allies have placed what could be devastating sanctions on President Vladimir Putin and key Russian financial institutions, including the nation’s central bank.
French authorities seized a massive yacht they say is linked to Igor Sechin, a Russian billionaire who is the CEO of state oil company Rosneft. He previously served as Russia’s deputy prime minster within Putin’s government. Forbes reported that Sechin is known in Russian business circles as “Darth Vader.”
Sechin was previously targeted with sanctions by the EU after the invasion of Ukraine.
Forbes reported that the over 500-foot superyacht of Russian billionaire and business tycoon Alisher Usmanov was seized in Germany. Usamov has also been sanctioned by the EU.
The yacht, named Dilbar, has a swimming pool on the main deck and can accommodate 36 guests, according to the website Superyacht Fan. The site estimates the cost of the yacht to be between $800 million and $1 billion.
This story will be regularly updated if other yachts are seized. Please check back for updates.