$30B from Russian oligarchs frozen under REPO seizure effort

Jun 29, 2022, 3:01 AM | Updated: 3:25 am
FILE - People look on from the super yacht Amadea as it arrives to the San Diego Bay Monday, June 2...

FILE - People look on from the super yacht Amadea as it arrives to the San Diego Bay Monday, June 27, 2022, seen from Coronado, Calif. The $325 million superyacht seized by the United States from a sanctioned Russian oligarch arrived in San Diego Bay on Monday. A multinational task force designed to seize Russian oligarchs' wealth has blocked and frozen $30 billion in sanctioned individuals' property and funds in its first 100 days. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A multinational task force designed to seize Russian oligarchs’ wealth has blocked and frozen $30 billion in sanctioned individuals’ property and funds in its first 100 days in operation, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday.

That’s on top of the yachts, other vessels and luxury real estate that have been impounded as well as $300 billion in Russian Central Bank funds that have been immobilized, the department said.

“We continue to increase Russia’s cost of its war,” Treasury said of the REPO task force, short for Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs.

The program is designed to drain Russia of its resources as President Vladimir Putin continues his invasion of Ukraine, but civil rights advocates have raised concerns about potential overreach.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland convened the REPO task force in March in conjunction with a number of other countries, which work together to investigate and prosecute oligarchs and other individuals allied with Putin. The European Commission has set up its own Freeze and Seize Task Force to work in conjunction with the REPO group.

The collective has worked to impound bank accounts, assets and properties. For instance, earlier this month, the U.S. announced sanctions on God Nisanov, one of the richest men in Europe, and Alexey Mordashov, one of Russia’s wealthiest billionaires, along with his wife and two adult children.

“REPO members will continue to track Russian sanctioned assets and prevent sanctioned Russians from undermining the measures that REPO members have jointly imposed,” Treasury said.

With sanctions increasing, there are growing concerns that seizures are being carried out on non-Americans outside of the judicial review process, with big consequences for sanctioned individuals who may not be able to challenge the seizures.

Attorney Tom Firestone, who specializes in international investigations for business clients, said seizures “can have consequences for innocent people who have nothing to do with the war — we need to be careful not to penalize innocent people.”

“We’ve seen a tremendous expansion of the sanctions,” Firestone said. “The U.S. government is going after a variety of targets. There is a lot of uncertainty about where it is all going.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has contested bills — including the House-passed Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act — that would make seizure of Russian assets easier for the government.

The government said that in a wartime environment that has spawned a worldwide food crisis “we are seeking to maximize the impact of sanctions on designated persons and entities while guarding against spillover that affects global commodities markets and food supplies.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - The U.S. Army National Guard members stand outside the Army National Guard office during tra...
Associated Press

US Army misses recruiting goal; other services squeak by

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army fell about 15,000 soldiers — or 25% — short of its recruitment goal this year, officials confirmed Friday, despite a frantic effort to make up the widely expected gap in a year when all the military services struggled in a tight jobs market to find young people willing and fit […]
22 hours ago
A car is submerged in flood water in North Port, Fla., on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Adriana...
Associated Press

After Ian, river flooding menaces Florida inland towns

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — As Hurricane Ian ravaged coastal towns in southwest Florida, residents in this quiet suburb thought they would be safe, having no beach and living outside areas under evacuation orders. But then the water kept flowing in. Since Ian’s passage, water levels have gone up significantly, turning roads into canals, reaching […]
22 hours ago
People protest asking for the restoration of electrical service after four days of blackout due to ...
Associated Press

Cubans protest in Havana for 2nd night over lack of power

HAVANA (AP) — Groups of Cubans protested Friday night in the streets of Havana for a second night, decrying delays in fully restoring electricity three days after Hurricane Ian knocked out power across the island. A foreign monitoring group reported that Cuba’s internet service shut down for the second time in two days, saying it […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Former President Jimmy Carter reacts as his wife Rosalynn Carter speaks during a reception t...
Associated Press

Jimmy Carter to celebrate 98 with family, friends, baseball

ATLANTA (AP) — Jimmy Carter, already the longest-living U.S. president in history, will celebrate his 98th birthday Saturday with family and friends in Plains, the tiny Georgia town where he and his wife, 95-year-old Rosalynn, were born in the years between World War I and the Great Depression. The 39th president’s latest milestone comes as […]
22 hours ago
The flame of a gas burner helps inflate a hot air balloon as part of a re-enactment of the first Al...
Associated Press

Annual hot air balloon festival draws global audience to US

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hundreds of hot air balloons are scheduled to lift off Saturday morning, marking the start of an annual fiesta that has drawn pilots and spectators from across the globe to New Mexico’s high desert for 50 years now. As one of the most photographed events in the world, the Albuquerque International […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: October 1, Las Vegas shooting kills 58

Today in History Today is Saturday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2022. There are 91 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Oct. 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire from a room at the Mandalay Bay casino hotel in Las Vegas on a crowd of 22,000 country music fans at a […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
$30B from Russian oligarchs frozen under REPO seizure effort