FBI raids Medvedchuk’s luxury yacht in Croatia

30 November 2022, 08:34 PM
Mega Yacht Royal Romance (Photo:Schemes (RFE/RL Graphics))

Mega Yacht Royal Romance (Photo:Schemes (RFE/RL Graphics))

In Trogir, Croatia, FBI agents searched the 92-meter-long luxury yacht, owned by Viktor Medvedchuk, former leader of banned pro-Russia political party Opposition Platform — For Life, Croatian media outlet Jutarnji List reported on Nov. 29.

The search warrant for the Royal Romance yacht was issued on Nov. 15, at the request of the U.S. Justice Department. The warrant mentions the names of Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko – both are suspected of breaking U.S. money laundering laws.

Jutarnji List reported the judge didn’t provide any further details, as the court proceedings are secret.

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In March 2022, it was reported that Medvedchuk's yacht Royal Romance was arrested in Croatia. In April, the Lychakivsky District Court of Lviv handed over the arrested yacht to ARMA (National Agency of Ukraine for Identification, Search and Management of Assets).

The biggest prisoner swap of the war so far was carried out on Sept. 21: 215 people were freed from the captivity, 188 of which were defenders of Azovstal and Mariupol, including five commanders.

The Azovstal commanders were exchanged for 55 Russian military personnel, while Ukraine handed over Viktor Medvedchuk, a former oligarch, pro-Russian politician and a personal friend of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who was charged with high treason in May 2021.

Days after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Medvedchuk escaped from house arrest. On April 12, he was detained while attempting to flee Ukraine, dressed in Ukrainian military uniform.

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