Canada set to seize Abramovich’s assets

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Ottawa will be the first among G7 countries to use a law that allows sanctioned assets to be forfeited by a court order

Canada intends to arrest and confiscate $26 million from the sanctioned company Granite Capital Holdings owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, its Foreign Ministry announced on Monday.

Along with the EU and the UK, Canada imposed sanctions on Abramovich shortly after the conflict in Ukraine began in late February.

It is the first time Ottawa will be using its new legislation – the Special Economic Measures Regulations – which allows the country’s government to confiscate the sanctioned assets of blacklisted individuals by a court order.

According to the official statement published on the government’s website, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly will now consider making a court application to seize Abramovich’s assets and hand them over “permanently to the Crown.”

If forfeited, the property of the Russian billionaire and former owner of the English football club Chelsea will be used to help reconstruct Ukraine and compensate “victims of the war,” the announcement said.

Canada would also become the first among the G7 countries to implement this measure.

The law allowing for this forfeiture was passed in June. In October, Canadian authorities announced an allocation of C$76 million ($55.6 million) to fund a new unit in Joly’s ministry dedicated to sanctions enforcement and additional support for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Abramovich attended peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul in late March and later in April visited Kiev in a bid to restart the stalled talks.

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