The United States obtained a warrant Wednesday authorizing the seizure of an aircraft owned by PJSC Rosneft Oil Company, a Russian integrated energy company headquartered in Moscow.
The Justice Department announced that the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of New York found probable cause. The Boeing 737-7JU aircraft was subject to seizure based on violations of the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA), and sanctions issued against Russia following the unprovoked February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
The aircraft is believed to be worth approximately $25 million, the DOJ said.
The CEO, President and chairman of Rosneft, Igor Ivanovich Sechin, has been considered a close ally of Vladmir Putin since the 90s. He was included in sanctions imposed on multiple Russian oligarchs in March 2022.
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Referencing court documents, the DOJ said the sanctions issued against Russia by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security impose export controls and license requirements to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.
More specifically, expanding prohibitions of the export, reexport or in-country transfer of U.S.-manufactured aircraft to or within Russia without a valid license or license exception for aircraft owned, controlled, under charter or leased by Russia and the country’s nationals.
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According to the DOJ, the Boeing jet owned by Rosneft was manufactured in the U.S. and was most recently in the states in March 2014.
It is currently believed to be operating in Russia – including travel to and from the country, which violates of the sanctions and regulations issued under the ECRA.
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The DOJ said the investigation was coordinated through its Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing sanctions, export controls and economic countermeasures that the U.S. and foreign allies have imposed on Russia following its aggression in Ukraine.