The UK government has “indefinitely detained” two private jets owned by sanctioned Russian billionaire, Eugene Shvidler. In a March 26 statement, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed that the Bombardier Global 6500 (tail number: LX-FLY) grounded at the London-area Farnborough Airport on March 9 will not be returned to its owner, along with a Cessna Citation Latitude impounded at Biggin Hill Airport.
Shapps also "retweeted" a story in The Times newspaper reporting that an unspecified helicopter owned by Russia’s HeliCo Group also has been detained. “Since [Russian President Vladimir] Putin began his illegal assault [on Ukraine], I’ve held jets belonging to Eugene Svidler under investigation for three weeks,” he commented. "Now I am using my powers to detain them indefinitely. Putin’s friends who made millions out of his regime will not enjoy luxuries while innocent people die.”
The Global 6500 is registered with the European management and charter group Global Jet Luxembourg. The company has not responded to a request to comment from AIN.
After arriving on a flight from the New York-area Teterboro Airport, the aircraft had been due to fly on to Dubai, which, along with Turkey and Israel, are reportedly becoming popular sanctuaries for wealthy Russians seeking alternative bases for private jets and yachts. No further details about the Citation Latitude have been confirmed.
In early March, the UK government introduced legislation making it a criminal offense to breach its ban on aircraft with any connection to Russia through registration or ownership, or even if it is chartered by Russian travelers.