TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024

US launches ‘KleptoCapture’ task force against Russian oligarchs

US launches ‘KleptoCapture’ task force against Russian oligarchs

The initiative aims to hold accountable oligarchs who violate United States sanctions and restrictions amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The United States is moving “to hold accountable corrupt Russian oligarchs” amid Russia’s ongoing military assault on Ukraine, as the US Department of Justice announced the creation of a new task force to ensure a raft of US sanctions are being enforced.

The task force – dubbed “KleptoCapture” – will enforce sweeping US sanctions, export restrictions and other economic curbs imposed after Russian troops launched an invasion of Ukraine late last week.

“The Justice Department will use all of its authorities to seize the assets of individuals and entities who violate these sanctions,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue this unjust war. Let me be clear: if you violate our laws, we will hold you accountable.”


US President Joe Biden first announced the task force during his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, saying the US would “go after the crimes of the Russian oligarchs”.

“We’re joining with European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets,” Biden said, adding that the country also would close its airspace to all Russian aircraft.

The US, European Union (EU) and other allied nations have imposed sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and members of Putin’s inner circle in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Other economic restrictions also targeted Russia’s central bank, among other financial institutions, as the international community pushes for an end to the Russian military assault on its neighbour.

The offensive, which saw Russian forces launch a barrage of attacks on Ukrainian cities on Wednesday and edge closer to the capital, Kyiv, has pushed more than 870,000 people to flee the country, according to the United Nations.

On Sunday, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc would shut its airspace for Russian-owned, registered and controlled aircraft. “They won’t be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU,” she wrote on Twitter. “Including the private jets of oligarchs.”


The US task force will be run out of the office of Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and it will have the power to investigate and prosecute US sanctions violations, or efforts to undermine restrictions on Russian financial institutions.

Investigators will also target any attempts to use cryptocurrency to evade US sanctions, the Justice Department said, and will have the power to seize the assets of sanctioned individuals or assets identified as coming from unlawful conduct.

“To those bolstering the Russian regime through corruption and sanctions evasion: we will deprive you of safe haven and hold you accountable,” Monaco said in the department’s statement. “Oligarchs be warned: we will use every tool to freeze and seize your criminal proceeds.”

Later on Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he will be visiting Belgium, Poland, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia over the next week.

The secretary of state said the sanctions imposed by the US and its allies have had a “powerful effect” on the Russian economy.

“President Putin may have assumed that the United States and our allies were bluffing when we warned of massive, unprecedented consequences,” Blinken told reporters. “But as President Biden likes to say, big nations can’t bluff. The United States doesn’t bluff.”

Still, he added that Washington has not closed the door for diplomacy to resolve the crisis.

“It’s much more difficult for diplomacy to succeed when guns are firing, tanks are rolling, planes are flying,” he said. “But if Russia pulls back and pursues diplomacy, we stand ready to do the same thing.”

Blinken also said the US supports “any diplomatic efforts” by Ukraine to secure a ceasefire. Russian and Ukrainian representatives had met for talks near the Belarusian border earlier this week, but the negotiations failed to produce an end to the violence.


Meanwhile, a US teenager who previously tracked the private jet of Tesla founder Elon Musk, has focused his attention on the jets of Russian oligarchs, US media outlets have reported.

Jack Sweeney, 19, runs two Twitter pages that respectively track aircraft associated with Putin, the Russian president, as well as Russian oligarchs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The latter account, dubbed Russian Oligarch Jets, tracked approximately 40 planes and helicopters associated with the oligarchs as of Tuesday, the newspaper said. It had more than 274,000 followers as of Wednesday afternoon.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×