AMERICANS could bag $5million from the government if they help hand over Russian oligarchs’ superyachts, private jets and mansions.
It comes as the US ramps up efforts to cripple oligarchs with close ties to Vladimir Putin by seizing their prized assets.
Americans could bag $5m if they help hand over the assets of wealthy Russian oligarchs[/caption]
European countries have already impounded several multimillion-dollar yachts while investigators go on a hunt for illicit assets of Russia’s super-rich elites.
Under the Congress approved program, anyone who hands over information that leads to the restrain, seizure, or forfeiture of assets “linked to corruption involving the government of the Russian Federation,” could claim the $5m reward, according to the Treasury Department.
The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program was approved last year and is aimed at seizing the assets in the US of anyone linked for foreign corrupt regimes.
Assets can include yachts, jets, apartments as well as any financial holdings such as bank accounts or investments managed by hedge funds.
To claim the cash, the asset will need to be located in the US, held by a US financial institution, or have been over into the possession of a US citizen.
From there a Treasury Department committee will consider “reward eligibility on a case-by-case basis,” that will then be approved by secretary Janet Yellen.
According to Vice, the Treasury can award more than $5m if they feel the situation warrants it.
It comes as Britain sanctioned 386 Russian politicians who backed Putin war in Ukraine.
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They are all members of the Duma, Russia’s lower house, who voted in favour to recognise the independence of breakaway regions Luhansk and Donetsk – a Putin power grab.
The EU sanctioned the Russian politicians on February 15 and sparked criticism that Britain was not acting quick enough.
The UK government has also frozen $4.2million in assets owned by Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC boss Roman Abramovich.
The steel tycoon is worth $13.7billion, according to Forbes, and owns a $200million mansion in Kensington, a $43million West London penthouse and yachts, private jets, helicopters and supercars worth more than $1.6billion.
And it comes as details emerge of Putin’s luxury $515m jet with a gold-plated toilet have surfaced.
Revealing pictures show the plane’s lavish interior as news comes of hungry Russians fighting over food with the ruble crumbling while economic sanctions start to bite.
Among the luxurious trappings on board the official Ilyushin plane are a fully-stocked bar, bedrooms and a gym.
The interior decor has a neoclassical style and the huge conference table is gold trimmed and surrounded by cream leather seats.
Putin is reported to have clocked up more air miles in high office than all other Russian leaders put together.
His amazing jet is capable of hitting speeds of up to 560mph and was made by the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association.
Russia’s currency, has gone into freefall and ordinary Russians have been seen at cashpoints desperately trying to withdraw cash before their savings become worthless.
Footage has also emerged of Russian pensioners fighting over what little food is available on supermarket shelves.
Putin continues to wage a brutal war on Ukraine[/caption]
The bathroom on Putin’s plane comes with gold-plated toilet seat[/caption]