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US seizes yacht, seeks confiscation, increases pressure on Russian oligarchs

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US and Spanish authorities have seized a $90 million super yacht in Spain which they say belongs to a sanctioned oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, marking the first such seizure in the effort of the Biden administration to hunt down luxury real estate, private jets, yachts and other Russian elite assets hidden around the world.

Unlike a handful of yacht and villa seizures in Europe since Moscow invaded Ukraine, US officials said on Monday they would seek the confiscation of the yacht, alleging it represents the spoils of a crime. Governments have wide latitude to sanction individuals, subjecting their assets to potential freezes as long as sanctions remain in effect. Such moves generally do not require proof of criminality. They can be challenged, but the process can take years.

Wj

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