DOJ Traps Russian Bizjet With Seizure Warrant


The Department of Justice has effectively trapped a Russian oil company’s Boeing 737 in Russia by obtaining a warrant for its seizure. The DOJ issued a press release on Wednesday saying the warrant was issued by a Texas court based on illegal flights the plane allegedly took between 2014 and 2019. The plane’s owner, Lukoil, has been subject to sanctions since 2014 and last visited the U.S. in 2019, but it took DOJ some time to unravel its convoluted ownership. It finally determined the ultimate owner was Lukoil and that made it seizable under the former and current sanctions. 

That means maintenance and other aircraft service providers throughout the world can’t be associated with the $45 million plane or risk the wrath of U.S. authorities. “With today’s unsealed affidavit, aviation, insurance, and financial services companies are made aware of that nesting doll-structure, and can proactively avoid the provision of services that might aid the movement of this tainted aircraft as the United States pursues its seizure,” the DOJ said in the release.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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