This is the first time that the Washington federal government has frozen a luxury ship or other high-value property from a well-known member of the Russian elite as part of its embargo.
A luxury boat anchored in the Marina Real, the capital of the Balearic Islands capital Palma de Mallorca in the Mediterranean, has been captured by Spanish military Gendermarie (Cardia Civil) and U.S. federal officials. An American News Agency employee at the scene saw several police officers boarding and disembarking Monday morning.
In addition to the Spanish Gendermary, the U.S. Employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also participated in a joint U.S.-Spanish police operation to seize a luxury boat. According to the Spanish Gendermary, the move was made at the specific request of US officials.
The 78-meter-long Cook Islands flagged “Tango” and a special portal for special large cruise ships, according to an unnamed report by the Spanish gentry, are worth about $ 120 million. Called Superyachtfan.com.
The boat is believed to be the indirect property of Russian billionaire Victor Wexselberg. Vekszelberg is known as a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the head of the Moscow Group, also known as the Renault Group in Moscow, which produces aluminum, oil and other energy, and is active in the telecommunications and other technology sectors. U.S. Treasury Department.
Victor Wexelberg’s entire assets have been frozen in the United States, and US companies have been banned from doing business with the Russian oligarchy and his businesses.
The European Union has not yet filed a lawsuit against Vekszelberg. He is still under investigation in the United States on suspicion of tax fraud, money laundering and fraud. According to a statement issued by the Spanish military Gendermari, the fraud was carried out precisely to cover up the ownership of the luxury boat “Tango”.
This is the first time US officials have seized a Russian oligarchy’s luxury cruise ship since a special task force of Russian elites, proxies and oligarchs (REPO) was set up on the orders of US Justice Minister Merrick Garland and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. . The organization oversees the confiscation and freezing of assets of members of the Russian social elite, their agents and Russian oligarchs. Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine on February 24, the goal announced by the REPO has been to effectively implement US punitive measures.
Victor Wexselberg has long had close ties to the United States: He once had a permanent residence permit and owned homes in New York and Connecticut. The Ukrainian-Russian businessman, who was born in Ukraine, made a fortune by investing in the aluminum and oil industries following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Cover image: Getty Images