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9 Mar, 2022 12:40

Russian oligarch’s jet seized under new sanctions, UK claims

An aircraft has been impounded at Farnborough Airport
Russian oligarch’s jet seized under new sanctions, UK claims

The UK government announced on Wednesday that it has impounded a plane linked to a Russian billionaire, using new aviation sanctions that allow the authorities to seize Russian aircraft and ban exports of aviation goods to Russia.

The measure, an escalation of UK action against Russia in the wake of the Ukraine conflict, makes it a criminal offence for any Russian aircraft to fly or land in Britain. The ban covers aircraft owned, operated, or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or individuals who have been directly targeted by sanctions.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed one aircraft has been seized at Farnborough Airport in southern England, as the authorities conduct further investigations to confirm its ties to the suspected Russian individual.

The private jet, a Bombardier Global 6500 aircraft, had been set to fly to Dubai on Tuesday afternoon, but Shapps revoked its foreign carrier permit, barring it from legally carrying any passengers. He subsequently issued a restriction of flying order to ensure the plane remains grounded.

While the government has not confirmed the identity of the oligarch who is allegedly linked to the jet, flight tracking data shows a private jet reportedly linked to billionaire Eugene Shvidler landed in Farnborough on March 4 after departing from the United States.

According to a report in The Telegraph, government sources have admitted that they are currently unsure whether the plane or Shvidler fall under the new sanction order. The jet will be held until the UK has completed its investigation, ensuring they use “every lever” at their “disposal to clamp down on jet-setting Russian oligarchs.” 

The jet is officially registered in Luxembourg to a company called Global Jet Luxembourg. If no link to Russia can be confirmed, the plane will be allowed to depart.