The Canadian government has announced plans to seize US$26 million in sanctioned assets from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
The assets, held by Granite Capital Holdings Ltd., a company owned by Abramovich, will be forfeited through a court order. If successful, the proceeds will be used to help reconstruct Ukraine and compensate victims of the Putin regime’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion.
This is the first time that Canada has used a law allowing for the forfeiture of sanctioned assets, and Foreign Minister Melanie Joly stated that Canada is the first member of the Group of Seven to implement this measure against Russia.
The foreign minister has 30 days to make a court application to permanently forfeit the assets to the government. The law allowing for this forfeiture was passed in June, but Joly noted that enforcing it has been challenging due to a lack of police resources for identifying and seizing sanctioned assets.
In October, the government announced $55.6 million (CA$76 million) in funding for a new sanctions enforcement bureau within Joly’s department and additional support for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“From the beginning of the war, we have warned Putin and his enablers that they would not be able to hide from the consequences of their actions,” said Joly in a news release.
“Impunity has never been an option and Canada will continue to pressure the Russian regime and those who have benefited from Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine. As Ukrainians continue to fight valiantly to reclaim the land that is rightfully theirs, we reaffirm our commitment to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
This is the latest in the hits that Abramovich, who’s one of more public-facing oligarchs, has had to take after the Putin regime invaded Ukraine.
Earlier in the year, he sold his stake in Chelsea FC, an English professional football club based in London that he has owned for two decades. And then months later, the oligarch lost his stake in Truphone, the UK eSIM company, shortly after the United States seized two jets worth $400 million.
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