Two men have been charged in the United States with protecting a yacht of a Russian ruler

The United States announced Friday that it has indicted two men suspected of helping a Russian ruler under US sanctions avoid seizure of his luxury yacht. The Ministry of Justice said in a statement that Richard Masters, a 52-year-old Briton, had been arrested in Spain for extradition and that Vladislav Osipov, a 51-year-old Russian-Swiss, was a fugitive. The two men are accused of helping Viktor Vekselberg, a close ally of Putin, to hide that he was the owner of the $90 million Tango yacht.

“Rotten Russian oligarchs”

The leader of the Renova Group, a Moscow-based conglomerate, in 2018 was placed on the list of oligarchs targeted by US sanctions in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Crimea. US justice accuses Richard Masters, who runs a shipping company in Palma de Mallorca, of renaming the ship “Fanta”, in order to continue doing business with US suppliers. US sanctions prevent US companies and their affiliates from doing business with the targeted entities.

“Osipov and Masters advised Tango employees and allowed them to continue doing business with US companies, using several schemes to circumvent sanctions, including payment in currencies other than dollars and through intermediaries,” According to a press release. Spain finally confiscated the 78-metre Tango in April at the request of the United States. In March, after Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States announced the creation of a cell dedicated to going after it “Rotten Russian oligarchs” And everyone who violates the sanctions adopted by Washington against Moscow.

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