The 51-year-old dual citizen is on the run, while the other accused, a 52-year-old Briton, has been arrested in Spain, the US Department of Justice said.
The two accused are suspected of helping Victor Vekselberg’s superyacht not to be impounded. (archive image)
The US has accused the Swiss-Russian dual citizen and Britain. They are said to have supported Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg in ensuring that his superyacht, hit by US sanctions, was not seized.
The 51-year-old dual citizen has fled, the US Department of Justice in Washington announced on Friday (local time). Among other things, he is the managing director of a consulting and investment firm in Zurich.
The other accused was reportedly arrested in Spain. He is a 52-year-old British man.
The two are accused of helping Viktor Vekselberg, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, cover up that Vekselberg was the owner of the Tango boat. The yacht is valued at $90 million.
Ship name changed
Billionaire Vekselberg, co-founder of Renova Group, a Moscow-based conglomerate, was placed on the US sanctions list in 2018 following the Russian invasion of Crimea.
The businessman, who recently had his residence in Zug, owns or owns several company shares in Switzerland, for example in the Sulzer, Swiss Steel, Oerlikon and Züblin groups. According to the media, Vekselberg also owns apartments in Zurich.
The US Department of Justice alleges that the 52-year-old Briton, who runs a shipping company in Palma de Mallorca, renamed the vessel “Fanda” to continue working with US suppliers despite the sanctions.
used by middlemen
The two men reportedly led the boat’s employees to continue doing business with American companies. They allegedly used middlemen to make payments in currencies other than dollars.
The 78-meter vessel was finally seized by Spain in April at the request of the United States. In March, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States announced the creation of a special unit to pursue “corrupt Russian oligarchs” and anyone who violates Washington’s sanctions against Moscow.