US Obtains Warrant to Seize Russian Energy Company’s Jet

September 1, 2022 by Dan McCue
US Obtains Warrant to Seize Russian Energy Company’s Jet
(Justice Department photo)

HOUSTON — The United States has obtained a warrant to seize a Boeing 737-7EM aircraft owned by PJSC LUKOIL, a Russian multinational oil and gas corporation headquartered in Moscow, the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday.

According to court documents, the Boeing last entered the U.S. in March 2019 when the plane flew from overseas to Houston, Texas, with LUKOIL officials, including a Russian oligarch — then LUKOIL president and CEO Vagit Alekperov — on board the aircraft. 

The aircraft  is now believed to be in Russia and worth approximately $45 million. 

LUKOIL has been subject to sectoral sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control since September 2014.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Commerce Department  handed down additional sanctions against Russia and Russian entities in response to its invasion of Ukraine. 

The sanctions impose export controls and license requirements to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. 

The sanctions also expanded prohibitions on the export, re-export or in-country transfer of, among other things, U.S.-manufactured aircraft to or within Russia without a valid license or license exception.

On Thursday, a federal judge presiding in the Southern District of Texas authorized the seizure, finding probable cause that the Boeing aircraft was subject to seizure based on violations of federal law.

“LUKOIL owns the Boeing aircraft — bearing the tail number VP-CLR and the manufacturer serial number 34865 — which flew into and out of Russia in violation of the Department of Commerce’s sanctions against Russia,” the Justice Department said in a press release.

The seizure action is being coordinated through the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export controls and economic countermeasures imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine.

The FBI’s Houston Field Office, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Houston are investigating the seizure matter.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

A+
a-
  • LUKOIL
  • Russia
  • sanctions
  • Ukraine
  • warrant
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Law Enforcement

    May 31, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    DC Police Prepare for Terrorism During Pride Month in June

    WASHINGTON — District of Columbia police are preparing for a potential terrorist attack in June during Pride Month after an... Read More

    WASHINGTON — District of Columbia police are preparing for a potential terrorist attack in June during Pride Month after an FBI warning last week. “Foreign terrorist organizations or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month,” a joint FBI... Read More

    May 22, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Republican National Headquarters Locked Down in Hazmat Scare

    WASHINGTON — The headquarters of the Republican National Committee was briefly locked down Wednesday morning after a suspicious package containing... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The headquarters of the Republican National Committee was briefly locked down Wednesday morning after a suspicious package containing vials of blood was delivered to the address. The package was reportedly addressed to former President Donald Trump. U.S. Capitol Police later confirmed that two vials... Read More

    May 8, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    DC Police Clear War Protesters After Congressional Threat to Intervene

    WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C., police cleared out Israel-Hamas War protesters from George Washington University in the early hours of Wednesday... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C., police cleared out Israel-Hamas War protesters from George Washington University in the early hours of Wednesday but only after enduring congressional criticism for the delay. Thirty-three protesters were arrested at an encampment only blocks from the White House after police said they... Read More

    Police Remove Encampment at University of Wisconsin’s Madison Campus

    AP — Police were removing an encampment of pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus and have taken away... Read More

    AP — Police were removing an encampment of pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus and have taken away several protesters. Several police officers arrived at the encampment on the campus’ Library Mall around 7 a.m. Wednesday and played a recorded message on a loop... Read More

    March 28, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Elections Task Force Prosecutes 2020 ‘Vigilantes,’ Seeks More Civic Dialogue

    PHOENIX, Ariz. — A 46-year-old Ohio man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for sending death threats to... Read More

    PHOENIX, Ariz. — A 46-year-old Ohio man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for sending death threats to an Arizona election official. The sentencing of Joshua Russell, of Bucyrus, Ohio, came after he pleaded guilty to one count of making a threatening interstate communication.... Read More

    February 9, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Fake Biden Robocalls During New Hampshire Primary Traced to Texas

    CONCORD, N.H. — Fraudulent robocalls using an AI-generated impersonation of President Joe Biden to discourage voting in the New Hampshire... Read More

    CONCORD, N.H. — Fraudulent robocalls using an AI-generated impersonation of President Joe Biden to discourage voting in the New Hampshire Democratic primary last month have been traced to a Texas-based company, known as Life Corp., and an individual named Walter Monk. The announcement by New Hampshire... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top