Yachts, bank accounts, villas … France has fixed Russian assets of 850 million euros

Sanctions are pouring into Russian millionaires. France has fixed about € 850 million in oligarch assets (yachts, apartments, bank accounts) on its territory after the war in Ukraine, said Bruno Le Mer, Minister of Economy and Finance, on Sunday. “We have fixed a € 150 million personal account, a French line of credit, at a facility in France.” He told the Grand Jury RTL / Le Figaro / LCI.

Difficult hunting of Russian millionaires in Bercy

€ 540 million real estate

“We have fixed € 359 million of real estate on French territory, which is equivalent to about 30 real estate or apartments and fixed two yachts for € 150 million,” the minister said in detail. I am saying. “In total, it is a property of (almost) 850 million euros, a property of the Russian oligarchs fixed on French territory,” Bruno Le Mer said.

In reality, fixing a product means that the owner will not be able to “use, resell, or cash the product.” “On the other hand, they are not confiscated in the sense that the state becomes the owner and can be resold. In order to be confiscated, there must be a criminal offense,” the minister said. “”If someone is on the list, check for homonyms and check their date of birth. We are looking at real estate files, tax records. This makes it possible to inventory people’s financial and tax environment. Real estate agents such as notaries cannot intervene in real estate. This property is under surveillance. “, Bercy explained in a meeting with journalists in early March.

“The sanctions are hurting Russia, hurting the Russian state, and hurting (Russian President) Vladimir Putin,” beat Bruno Le Mer, who emphasized the fixation of € 22 billion in assets at the Russian Banking Center. There are few accurate figures for all Russian assets in France. “We have a very global assessment of assets, such as the number of bank accounts of the Russian personality in France and estimates of assets held. It is not the Russians, but the power or its accompaniment to this power. Personality. Give misleading pictures. “Bercy explains.

Since Russia’s offensive in Ukraine began at the end of February, Western nations have adopted several economic sanctions, which Russia has responded to with counter-sanctions. On Friday, the Central Bank of Russia found it “very difficult” to make macroeconomic forecasts because of these sanctions. At the end of February, the key rate more than doubled, from 9.5% to 20%.

Bercy task force

Shortly after the conflict in Ukraine began, Bercy established a task force that brought together members of the Directorate General of Finance (DGFIP), customs, agents of Trakfin, and staff of the Directorate General of Finance. “The central service mobilizes dozens of people. When you integrate distributed services, hundreds of people are involved in this task, even if you don’t necessarily focus on all these activities.” A senior official from the Ministry of Economy explains.

This mobilization is only effective in exchanging information and cooperating between countries. “”Heritage can have an international or cross-border side. Tracfin has an international network for verifying the basics of listings. The effectiveness of these measures depends on international administrative cooperation. “ Add another source. According to some economists and legal scholars, the effectiveness of these sanctions on the heritage of the wealthiest remains uncertain.

In fact, many financial assets and property are housed in particularly opaque tax havens, which greatly complicates the work of French administrative investigators. “In a range of companies, tax havens may exist. Regardless of the situation in Ukraine, these states are under very strong pressure. Co-operative or non-co-operative hiding their games. I don’t think there are many states. Normally, go our way. “, Described the members of this task force. French tax authorities can struggle because the war can be prolonged.

(With an agency)