As Russian President Vladimir Putin, 69, clings to his plan to invade Ukraine, the West is trying to increase pressure on Russia – and above all the country’s oligarchs. Within sight: luxury real estate, yachts and private jets. Accounts have also been frozen. For example, Swiss authorities recently banned a holiday home owned by Russian oligarch Pyotr Aven (67 years old) in the Bernese Oberland.
But this may be just the tip of the iceberg. Many rich Russians are trying to save their fortunes and yachts and flee to Dubai. Or they are already living unrecognized in their luxury. It is precisely these few that the United States is seeking. Because US President Joe Biden (79) is serious. He made it clear in one of his speeches when he said in early March: “We will get yachts, luxury apartments and private jets.”
And also with Putin’s son-in-law: Activists storm and occupy the palaces of the oligarchy(00:51)
The US Department of Justice has formed a task force called “Klepto Capture” to move forward with the sanctions. It is designed to track down and confiscate luxury Russian real estate such as «Globalism“mentioned. Not an easy task. Residents are asked to facilitate the work of the authorities.
The agency said on its website that the US Department of Justice was seeking evidence to find the assets of the oligarch “associated with corruption in the government of the Russian Federation”.
There is up to $5 million for a good tip that leads to the oligarch’s apartment being tracked down and confiscated. However, larger amounts may be possible.
“It’s a challenge and it takes months or years”
In fact, in the early 2000s, wealthy Russians were buying real estate like crazy in the US to speculate or create a comfortable second home. However, apartments and houses often do not fall under the correct names. The oligarchs want to remain anonymous and set up companies based mostly in the Cayman Islands or Bermuda.
As harsh as Biden’s words sound, forfeiture is not that easy.
In a lawsuit, the owner must prove that he committed a crime. It doesn’t work that way, it needs clear proof. “It’s a challenge and it takes months or years, not days,” US Attorney Ryan Fayhee told Welt. After all, accounts can be frozen quite easily. (together)
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