Francisco Obila / AFP
Spanish officials have confiscated a Russian-owned luxury yacht in Mallorca at the request of the US Department of Justice. It was the first coordinated seizure operation under the ministry’s KleptoCapture Task Force, tasked with imposing sweeping sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
The $255 million yacht, called Tango, is owned by Russia’s sanctioned oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who heads the Renova Group, a Russian conglomerate with interests in mining, machinery, energy, telecommunications and others.
“Today marks our team’s first seizure of assets 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 in our power to hold to account any individual whose criminal actions enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war.”
The seizure was carried out by officers of the Spanish Civil Guard with the assistance of the FBI.
Ministry of Justice
US officials claim that Tango has been continuously owned by Vekselberg since 2011 and that it has used shell companies.Blackout his interest in TangoThe Ministry of Justice said in a press release.
The statement cites allegations of bank fraud and money laundering as justification for the confiscation, highlighting US bank payments to support and maintain the ship – including a December 2020 stay at a luxury water villa resort in the Maldives.
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