US obtains warrant to seize Boeing owned by Russian firm Lukoil


The US has obtained a warrant to seize a Boeing 737-7EM aircraft owned by Russian multinational oil and gas corporation, Lukoil.

A US court authorised the seizure finding probable cause that the Boeing had on violated federal law. According to court documents, Moscow-based Lukoil owns the Boeing aircraft (tail no: VP-CLR and MSN: 34865) which flew into and out of Russia in violation of US sanctions.

The seizure action is being coordinated through the US Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture.

KleptoCapture director, Andrew C. Adams said:  “The US has laid open a series of shell companies and sham corporations designed to conceal the ownership and illegal movements of controlled technology. The aircraft at the centre of today’s affidavit was ultimately the property of Lukoil, though that ownership was obscured through a now-public series of holding companies. 

Adams added: “With today’s unsealed affidavit, aviation, insurance, and financial services companies are made aware of that nesting doll-structure, and can proactively avoid the provision of services that might aid the movement of this tainted aircraft as the US pursues its seizure.”

The Boeing last flew into the US in March 2019 when it flew from overseas to Houston with Lukoil officials, including a Russian oligarch – then Lukoil president and CEO Vagit Alekperov – on board the aircraft. 

The aircraft is believed to be in Russia and worth approximately $45m, according to the US Justice Department. 

Lukoil has been subject to sectoral sanctions imposed by the US’ Office of Foreign Assets Control since September 2014.