“Spanish law enforcement today executed a Spanish court order freezing the Motor Yacht (M/Y) Tango (the Tango), a 255-foot luxury yacht owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Spanish authorities acted pursuant to a request from the U.S. Department of Justice for assistance following the issuance of a seizure warrant, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which alleged that the Tango was subject to forfeiture based on violation of U.S. bank fraud, money laundering, and sanction statutes.
According to documents filed in this case, the U.S. investigation alleges that Vekselberg bought the Tango in 2011 and has owned it continuously since that time. It further alleges that Vekselberg used shell companies to obfuscate his interest in the Tango to avoid bank oversight into U.S. dollar transactions related thereto. Additionally, after Vekselberg was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department on April 6, 2018, the warrant alleges that Vekselberg and those working on his behalf continued to make U.S. dollar payments through U.S. banks for the support and maintenance of the Tango and its owners, including a payment for a December 2020 stay at a luxury water villa resort in the Maldives and mooring fees for the yacht. Vekselberg had an interest in these payments and therefore a license was required from the Treasury Department, which was not obtained.
“Today marks our taskforce’s first seizure of an asset belonging to a sanctioned individual with close ties to the Russian regime. It will not be the last.” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Together, with our international partners, we will do everything possible to hold accountable any individual whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war.”
“Today’s action makes clear that corrupt Russian oligarchs cannot evade sanctions to live a life of luxury as innocent Ukrainians are suffering,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Today the Department of Justice delivers on our commitment to hold accountable those whose criminal activity strengthens the Russian government as it continues to wage its unjust war in Ukraine. That commitment is one we are not finished honoring.” (The Department of Justice, 4/4/2022) (Archive)
Dan Bongino reminds us of the history between Vekselberg and the Clintons.
Bongino mentions this article by Diane West:
Hillary’s Hypersonic Missile Gap
“Starting in May 2010, The Washington Examiner reported, drawing on emails obtained by Citizens United, “Clinton Foundation staff pushed Hillary Clinton’s State Department to approve a meeting between Bill Clinton and a powerful Russian oligarch as her agency lined up investors for a project under his purview.”
His name was Viktor Vekselberg of Renova (a Clinton Foundation donor) and the project under his purview was the Skolkovo Innovation Center, which is being built near Moscow. The following month, Bill Clinton would receive $500,000 for a speech in Moscow from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin, a Clinton Foundation donor, a Skolkovo executive, and which talked up Uranium One, whose sale the Clinton State Department would approve, and whose executives together contributed $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.
This shocking set of emails that the Examiner reported on shows the nexus of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foundation, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, Bill Clinton, Russian oligarch Vekselberg, and Skolkovo, “Russia’s Silicon Valley,” the Putin project to transfer Western technology to Russia that was championed and driven by Mrs. Clinton — and, what do you know, 17 out of 28 tech companies that hitched up with Skolkovo also contributed to the Clinton Foundation? What a coincidence. Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s support for Russian WTO membership made the whole global flow so much easier.
No wonder Herd Media, the Uniparty Congress and FBI Director James Comey never noticed a thing. Oh, except that Putin “hated” Hillary Clinton, “wanted to do her harm,” as Comey told Congress this week. Grrr. Maybe hypersonic technology wasn’t enough. But I’m getting ahead of the story.
Let’s pick up with an Army report on Skolkovo written in 2012 (released in 2013) to assess “the implications … for U.S. policymakers.”
Although military activities are not an official cluster of activity, the Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related project—the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine. The project is a response to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, part of the Prompt Global Strike program.
Fast forward to November 2016, shortly after Donald Trump was elected president when the US Air Force released a report on — no way — the Russian and Chinese hypersonic missile threat to the United States.
The United States is vulnerable to future attack by hypersonic missiles from China and Russia and is falling behind in the technology race to develop both defensive and offensive high-speed maneuvering arms, according to a new Air Force study.
“The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States itself,” an executive summary of the report says.
“These weapons appear to operate in regimes of speed and altitude, with maneuverability that could frustrate existing missile defense constructs and weapon capabilities.”
In a functioning democratic republic, the executive branch decisions and procedures and corruption that led to this defense cataclysm would actually alarm security officials, lawmakers, and even arouse media curiosity, if nothing else. But Skolkovo, the money, the corruption, the treachery, the danger, inspire no reaction at all.
Not even this plain, shocking language, from the Army, circa 2012:
Skolkovo is an ambitious enterprise, aiming to promote technology transfer generally, by inbound direct investment, and occasionally, through selected acquisitions. As such, Skolkovo is arguably an overt alternative to clandestine industrial espionage—with the additional distinction that it can achieve such a transfer on a much larger scale and more efficiently.
Hillary Clinton, her State Department, the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton did much to make Skolkovo possible — did much to activate what was, according to the Army report, “arguably” a massive “clandestine industrial espionage” operation. Not that any of this is in the past. This plain-sight-“research”-cum-