A US court issued warrants to seize the luxury planes of Roman Abramovich, under sanctions imposed by the Ukraine war.
These planes include a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at $350m (PS280m), a cutting-edge aircraft that is used by many top airlines around the globe, and a Gulfstream G650ER at $60m (PS48m).
The possibility of the authorities taking control of them is not certain.
A Department of Justice official stated that the jets weren’t in their custody, but declined to state if they were.
Due to UK sanctions against people suspected of having ties to President Putin or the Russian state, the Russian billionaire has had to sell Chelsea football club.
Mr Abramovich denied any close connection to the president, and was partially involved in mediation between Russia and Ukraine during the early stages of war.
According to authorities, the Gulfstream flew from Istanbul to Moscow on March 12, and then left Tel Aviv the next day. It returned to Istanbul on March 15th.
According to the Department of Commerce, the Boeing flew from Dubai and Moscow on March 4, according to reports.
Manhattan judge issued warrants Monday for violations of US export controls.
These planes were made in America. Because the flights occurred after sanctions were lifted, Mr Abramovich would need a license from the Department of Commerce.
He was not required to obtain a license and could be subject to a maximum $328,000 fine per flight.
Abramovich’s children are ‘given ownership planes’
John Sonderman, a commerce official, stated that Russian oligarchs like Abramovich would not be allowed to violate US export regulations.
The department took steps to ground Mr Abramovich’s Gulfstream and the 99 other planes it claimed had been to Russia in March.
According to prosecutors, the billionaire is the owner of both his planes via shell companies registered in Jersey and Cyprus, as well as the British Virgin Islands.
According to the Department of Commerce, he altered the ownership structure in February to make his children beneficiaries of the trust that eventually owns the aircraft.
It said that he was still in control of the planes during their March flight to Moscow.
Despite his warrants, Mr Abramovich was not personally sanctioned in America as he was in the UK or the European Union.