Russian oligarch’s $90 million yacht seized amid US sanctions: NPR


A civil guard stands near the yacht called Tango in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on Monday. US federal agents and the Spanish Civil Guard search the yacht belonging to a Russian oligarch.

Francisco Ubilla/AP


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Francisco Ubilla/AP

Russian oligarch's $90 million yacht seized amid US sanctions: NPR

A civil guard stands near the yacht called Tango in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on Monday. US federal agents and the Spanish Civil Guard search the yacht belonging to a Russian oligarch.

Francisco Ubilla/AP

Spanish officials have seized a Russian-owned luxury yacht in Mallorca at the request of the US Department of Justice. It was the first coordinated seizure under the department’s KleptoCapture task force, which is tasked with enforcing the sweeping sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

The $90million 255ft yacht, named Tango, is owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who heads Renova Group, a Russian conglomerate with interests in metallurgy, machinery, energy, telecommunications as well that others.

“Today marks our task force’s first seizure of property belonging to a sanctioned individual with close ties to the Russian regime. It will not be the last,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “Together with our international partners, we will do everything we can to hold accountable any individual whose criminal acts allow the Russian government to continue its unjust war.”

The seizure was carried out by agents of the Spanish Guardia Civil with the help of the FBI.


The Ministry of Justice
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US officials say Tango has been permanently owned by Vekselberg since 2011 and that he has used shell companies to “obfuscate his interest in Tango,” the Justice Department said in a press release.

The statement cites allegations of bank fraud and money laundering as justification for the seizure, pointing to US bank payments for the ship’s support and upkeep – including a December 2020 stay at a luxury villa resort on water in the Maldives.


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