Charges against two men who tried to prevent the seizure of Russian oligarch’s yacht

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They are 52-year-old Briton Richard Masters, who was arrested in Spain, and 51-year-old Russian-Switzerland Vladislav Osipov, who is wanted.

The US Justice Department announced on Friday that it has indicted two men who allegedly helped a Russian oligarch – who has been targeted by US sanctions – avoid the seizure of his superyacht.

They are 52-year-old Briton Richard Masters, who was arrested in Spain, and 51-year-old Russian-Switzerland Vladislav Osipov, who is wanted.

The two defendants allegedly helped oligarch Viktor Vekselberg – an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin – to conceal his ownership of the Tango yacht, which is worth an estimated $90 million.

The chairman of the Renova group was included in 2018 on the list of Russian oligarchs subject to sanctions, following the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea.

American justice accuses Richard Masters, who runs a shipping company in Palma de Mallorca, of renaming the yacht “Fanta” in order to facilitate transactions with American suppliers.

US government sanctions prohibit US companies and their subsidiaries from doing business with blacklisted individuals and entities.

Osipov and Masters “used a variety of methods to evade sanctions,” according to the US Department of Justice press release.

The superyacht Tango, a 78-meter yacht, was finally seized last April in Spain at the request of the US.

The US government announced in March the formation of a special task force to prosecute “corrupt Russian oligarchs” and those who violate sanctions Washington has imposed on Moscow.

RES-EMP

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