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USA offering rewards of up to R47.3m for information on Russian oligarchs' yachts, mansions, and more

Business Insider US
Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images
Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • The US is offering rewards for information on Russian elites' assets, such as yachts and mansions.
  • The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program will give informants up to $5 million (R47.3 million) for info leading to the seizure, forfeiture, or repatriation of stolen assets.
  • Several countries have recently seized yachts, jets, and villas from sanctioned Russian oligarchs over the invasion of Ukraine.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The US government wants your help getting ahold of stolen assets held by Russian oligarchs — and it's willing to pay a pretty penny for it.

The Treasury Department is offering rewards of up to $5 million (R47.3 million) for information about Russian elites' yachts, mansions, private jets, and other property through an effort known as the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program.

Through the program, rewards are given for information leading to the restraint, seizure, forfeiture, or repatriation of stolen assets in an account at a US financial institution, that enter the US, or that come into the possession or control of a US person.

The Treasury is after assets "linked to corruption involving the government of the Russian Federation," the Department said on its website.

Congress last year approved the establishment of the program, which also offers rewards for information about assets linked to corruption in other foreign governments.

Besides Russia, the Treasury specifically listed requests for tips about assets linked to bribes paid by Brazilian petrochemical companies Odebrecht and Braskem, as well as corruption involving the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Malaysia, known as 1MDB.

Several nations have seized yachts, villas, and jets from sanctioned Russian oligarchs in response to the country's invasion of Ukraine. Countries like Italy,France, and Spain have detained Russian billionaires' assets in recent weeks, and President Biden said in his State of the Union earlier this month that the US will follow suit.

"We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets," Biden said in his address. "We are coming for your ill-begotten gains."

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