Why The U.S. Is Going After Yachts And Mansions Of Russian Billionaire Oligarchs

Published 2022-04-22
From chasing down yachts in the ocean to seizing Italian villas, the global effort to punish Russian oligarchs for their financial ties to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been unprecedented. The U.S. has even arranged its own special task force within the Department of Justice to seize the assets of the oligarchs who try to evade sanctions. It’s unclear, however, whether even Russia’s most elite hold enough sway over Putin to prompt an end to the country’s ongoing barrage against Ukraine. Watch the video above to find out how the Russia’s oligarchs came to power, and whether global sanctions against the billionaires could help bring an end to the Russia-Ukraine war.

» Subscribe to CNBC: cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC
» Subscribe to CNBC TV: cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision

About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more.

Connect with CNBC News Online
Get the latest news: www.cnbc.com/
Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Facebook: cnb.cx/LikeCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Twitter: cnb.cx/FollowCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Instagram: cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC


Why The U.S. Is Going After Yachts And Mansions Of Russian Billionaire Oligarchs

All Comments (21)
  • T G
    Sometimes they mistake sanctions for robbery. Robbing private properties in the name of sanction. They should be ashamed of themselves
  • Cory Pechon
    Remember, as a rule of warfare: Any weapon that you create will eventually fall into your enemy's hands and used against you. While this use case may be appropriate, we should not celebrate use of private asset seizure as a means of punishment. Civil asset forfeiture is already an extremely problematic practice in the US and elsewhere.
  • Issa Raie
    It’s stealing there’s no way around it
  • Paul Tyson
    Putin got to the top by being a very effective and compliant fixer for Yeltsin and the oligarchs. The moment Putin became President of Russia, Yeltsin found he could not reach his understudy on the phone and the oligarchs discovered that their mafia like hitman had suddenly become "the Godfather". They had to pay their dues to the Godfather and know that their prosperity and very survival were dependent on staying in his good books. That has persisted in Russia for the last 22 years and as we know from the Mafia there is only one way to remove a Godfather and it sure aint by holding an election.
  • Jhon Doe
    how can the government just steal your boat like wtf
  •  幻想
    Without sanctioning their kids and other relatives it makes no sense. Lavrov's daughter until recently was living in New York, Peskov's daugther lives in Paris still, Abramovich, Usmanov etc, etc.
  • Husqvarna Enduro
    Watching Biden say "were coming after your ill gotten gains" while Pelosi claps in the background makes me cringe. That woman made millions off of insider trading, talk about ill gotten gains.
  • Dave C
    Dangerous territory when you start seizing assets based on someone's nationality
  • RM Finance
    War is never good for business... Unless you're Aerotek, government contractor, or the mortuary. Then it's great for business.
  • Itzcoatl Medina
    Think about this. Are all these billionares delinquent? If so, it means that the U.S knew and was happy to let them do business world-wide, or at least they should have informed all those yacht companies. Those billions of dollars in U.S. banks were ill begotten. (Supposedly by Russians) And the U.S. knew and was happy to take that money.
  • Zenochka Gaming
    imagine bezos wealth being seized since his contracts with pentagon for aws.
  • Matthew Hibbs
    Unless these governments have a legitimate reason to seize the property of these individuals, all were doing is giving up more freedom by turning a blind eye to what they're doing. If they're in default on the loans, or have been charged with a crime, i for one am against this type of retaliation. From what it sounds like, this is basically "We don't like where you're from, and who you're friends with, so we're taking your wealth".
  • Tonyy Bandz
    Imagine when a country come over here and do what we trying to do to them .
  • Thomas Ridley
    Being friends with Putin comes with a financial cost. But, they should all be on the list. Including anyone they are using to hide from sanctions.
  • Trevor B. Carter
    The wisest thing that should be on everyone's mind currently should be to invest in different streams of income that doesn't depend on the govt. Especially with the current economic crisis around the world. This is still a good time to invest in Gold, Silver and digital currencies (BTC,ETH...)
  • The Doctor
    Even if Russia is driven out of Ukraine, it is now obvious that the civilized world must do something different in the long term. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Human nature is not going to change, so we need to reverse the global market race-to-the-bottom that empowers violent and dysfunctional governments. (Even some Western democracies that support rogue states for minerals need to be put under pressure)

    Instead of complicated and inconsistent sanctions, it would be simpler for free countries to just to put massive taxes on all imports, and only give waivers to other free countries, and incremental discounts to non-free countries for democratic and human rights improvements.

    And most importantly; People love discounts, but hate mandates. We must work with nationalistic pride, not against it.

    Also, we need to be consistent. Free trade with China, but no trade with North Korea is insane and does not provide a clear message.

    Write your representative today and demand consistent, incentive based economic pressure. Just sitting around complaining and waiting until the next destructive crisis is no longer an option.

    And the icing on this cake - instead of adding costs to taxpayers; incentives would create an economic boom for every country that uses it.
  • eastern2western
    Innocent before conviction by a jury of one's peers no longer applies in here. As long as one person is associated with a government not liked by the usa, that person can lose its properties. So much for the constitution.
  • Stave Jobas
    Mental thieves are like that, anything is legal.
    Does anyone here agree to be punished without doing anything wrong?
  • Pau F
    over half a dozen yachts seized? So like 7? That's not much ..