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US launches task force to seize Russian oligarchs’ assets

The task force will include prosecutors, analysts and various experts in sanctions and export control enforcement, anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, and foreign evidence collection, the release said.

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Washington: The United States has launched a new task force, KleptoCapture, to trace and seize assets of Russian oligarchs in response to the special military operation in Ukraine, the US Justice Department said in a press release.

“Today, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced the launch of Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed, along with allies and partners, in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine,” the release said on Wednesday.

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The task force will include prosecutors, analysts and various experts in sanctions and export control enforcement, anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, and foreign evidence collection, the release said.

The Justice Department explained that assets seizures and civil forfeitures of unlawful proceeds will be used to deny resources enabling Russian actions in Ukraine even if defendants cannot be immediately detained. KleptoCapture will be complementing the work of the transatlantic task force announced by the US and its European partners on February 26 to identify and capture the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies, the release said.

“We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue this unjust war. Let me be clear: if you violate our laws, we will hold you accountable,” the release cited Garland as saying. 

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