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USA: Court Orders Spain to Seize $90m Yacht From Russian Oligarch US Attorney General

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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Apr.05, 2022 @acenewsservices

Ace News Room Cutting Floor 05/04/2022

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#AceDailyNews DOJ Court Report: 90 Million Yacht of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg Seized by Spain at Request of United States

Note: Footage of the seizure is available here. View the statement from the Attorney General on today’s seizure here.

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. Separately, seizure warrants obtained in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia target approximately $625,000 associated with sanctioned parties held at nine U.S. financial institutions. Those seizures are based on sanctions violations by several Russian specially designated nationals.

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.”

“Today we announce another example of the FBI using our worldwide presence and partnerships, as well as our expertise and experience, to track and seize illicit money and assets, to counter threats to our safety and national security,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “We will continue to use every lawful tool to go after designated Russian oligarchs’ assets – however and wherever they hide them.”

The seizure was coordinated through the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed, along with its allies and partners, in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine. Announced by the Attorney General on March 2 and run out of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the task force will leverage all the Department’s tools and authorities against efforts to evade or undermine the economic actions taken by the U.S. government in response to Russian military aggression.

“The seizure of this luxury yacht demonstrates our determination to hold accountable those who support Vladimir Putin’s unwarranted invasion of another sovereign nation,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia. “We will continue to use every tool to enforce the sanctions aimed at Putin’s regime and the oligarchs who support it.  Working with our federal and international partners, we will be unflagging in our efforts to bring to justice those who violate these sanctions, and to seize assets where appropriate and lawful.”

“Today’s seizure of Viktor Vekselberg’s yacht, the Tango, in Spain is the result of an unprecedented multinational effort to enforce U.S. sanctions targeting those elites who have enabled Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine,” said Director Andrew Adams of Task Force KleptoCapture. “For those who have tied their fortunes to a brutal and lawless regime, today’s action is a message that those nations dedicated to the rule of law are equally dedicated to separating the oligarchs from their tainted luxuries. This seizure is only the beginning of the Task Force’s work in this global effort to punish those who have and continue to support tyranny for financial gain.”

“The FBI will continue to work with its partners to protect the integrity of the banking system and support the enforcement of sanctions programs,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael F. Paul of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office. “FBI agents and analysts, regardless of where they are assigned around the world, will work tirelessly to ensure those who attempt to evade sanctions are held accountable.”

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine was an unprovoked act of aggression that has targeted the lives and well-being of millions of people and threatened international security,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York.  “For decades, the Putin regime has been supported by a group of Russian oligarchs that abused their power for private gain to amass untold riches. As DHS’s investigative arm, HSI stands at the forefront of combatting global networks that seek to violate U.S. law and exploit our nation’s financial systems.  Working with our partners at the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, we will hold Putin’s oligarchs accountable and deny them the lavish lifestyles they cherish.”

Upon receipt of a request from the United States pursuant to a bi-lateral treaty for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, the Spanish central authority for mutual legal assistance forwarded the request to a Spanish prosecutor, who obtained a freezing order from a Spanish court. The order was executed by Spain’s Guardia Civil on April 4.

The Tango, International Maritime Organization number 1010703, is believed to be worth approximately $90 million or more. The yacht is now in Mallorca.

The burden to prove forfeitability in a forfeiture proceeding is upon the government.

The matter of the Tango is being investigated by the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office with assistance from the HSI New York Field Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen P. Seifert for the District of Columbia and Paralegal Brian Rickers and Legal Assistant Jessica McCormick for the District of Columbia are handling the seizure. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in working with the Spanish authorities, as well as the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS).

En Español

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Apr.05: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Ace Daily News

BREAKING: SPAIN: Britain’s Most WANTED Woman Arrested After 9yrs on the Run

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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Mar.11, 2022 @acebreakingnews

Ace News Room Cutting Floor 11/03/2022

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#AceBreakingNews says a money launderer involved in a £1 billion mobile phone tax scam who was one of the National Crime Agency’s most wanted fugitives has been arrested in Spain.

Panitzke being handcuffed by officers

Sarah Panitzke, aged 47 and originally from Fulford near York, was detained as she walked her dogs in Santa Barbara, Tarragona, on Sunday morning [27 February] by the Spanish Guardia Civil as part of an operation supported by HM Revenue & Customs.

She has now appeared in court and was remanded in custody as extradition proceedings begin.

Panitzke disappeared in May 2013 as she stood trial for money laundering offences.

She was convicted and sentenced in her absence to eight years following an investigation by HMRC, who identified she was part of an organised crime group responsible for laundering approximately £1 billion from a mobile phone VAT fraud.

NCA International Deputy Director Tom Dowdall said:

Panitzke and her co-conspirators were given jail terms totalling 135 years.

“Sarah Panitzke has been on the run for almost nine years. Given the length of time she might have thought we had stopped searching, but she remained on our radar.

“Joint working between UK law enforcement and our partners in Spain led to her being apprehended, and we will now seek her extradition back to the UK to serve her prison sentence.

“This should serve as a warning to others on our most wanted list – we will not rest until you are captured, no matter how long it takes.”

Simon York, Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“Sarah Panitzke was one of Britain’s most wanted tax fugitives.

“She played a pivotal role in a multi-million pound VAT fraud and moved millions through offshore bank accounts.

“Panitzke thought she had put herself outside of the reach of HMRC, but through our work with UK law enforcement and international partners we have tracked down another tax fugitive. No tax criminal is beyond our reach.

“We have helped secure the return more than 60 fugitives since 2016, including some of the UK’s most harmful tax cheats.”

Lord Ashcroft, Founder and Chair of the independent charity Crimestoppers, said:

“It’s hugely encouraging news to hear of Sarah Panitske’s arrest in Spain after being on our Most Wanted list for some years. It shows how our charity, working with the NCA to find the most wanted fugitives, benefits us all. Our communities, here in the UK and abroad, are safer as a result.

“If you know the whereabouts of any of the remaining Most Wanted fugitives, you can contact Crimestoppers completely anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or by using our anonymous online form.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Mar.11: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Ace Daily News World History & Research Reports

(SPAIN) Neanderthal History Report: Spanish cave art that was more than 60,000-years was made by Neanderthals, study confirms today Monday #AceHistoryDesk report

#AceHistoryReport – Aug.10: Neanderthals, long perceived to have been unsophisticated and brutish, really did paint stalagmites in a Spanish cave more than 60,000 years ago, according to a study published on Monday….

#AceHistoryDesk reports that a study says pigments on cave stalagmites were applied through ‘splattering and blowing’ more than 60,000 years ago and the issue had roiled the world of paleoarchaeology ever since the publication of a 2018 paper attributing red ocher pigment found on the stalagmitic dome of Cueva de Ardales to our extinct “cousin” species.

The Guardian Report: https://newseu.cgtn.com/news/2021-08-09/Neanderthal-cave-paintings-in-Spain-could-be-world-s-oldest-art–12z3hVQN3MY/index.html

The dating suggested the art was at least 64,800 years old, made at a time when modern humans did not inhabit the continent.

But the finding was contentious, and “a scientific article said that perhaps these pigments were a natural thing”, a result of iron oxide flow, Francesco d’Errico, co-author of a new paper in the journal PNAS, told AFP.

A new analysis revealed the composition and placement of the pigments were not consistent with natural processes – rather, the pigments were applied through splattering and blowing.

What’s more, their texture did not match natural samples taken from the caves, suggesting the pigments came from an external source.

More detailed dating showed that the pigments were applied at different points in time, separated by more than 10,000 years.

This “supports the hypothesis that the Neanderthals came on several occasions, over several thousand years, to mark the cave with pigments”, said d’Errico, of the University of Bordeaux.

It is difficult to compare the Neanderthal “art” with wall paintings made by prehistoric modern humans, such as those found in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc cave of France, more 30,000 years old.

But the new finding adds to increasing evidence that Neanderthals, whose lineage went extinct approximately 40,000 years ago, were not the boorish relatives of Homo sapiens they were long portrayed to be.

The team wrote that the pigments are not “art” in the narrow sense of the word “but rather the result of graphic behaviors intent on perpetuating the symbolic significance of a space”.

The cave formations “played a fundamental role in the symbolic systems of some Neanderthal communities”, though what those symbols meant remains a mystery for now.

#AceHistoryDesk report ……Published: Aug.10: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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World History & Research Reports

Archaeological Report: Granada, in Spain’s Andalusia region, was the final remnant of Islamic Iberia known as al-Andalus—a territory that once stretched across most of Spain & Portugal #AceHistoryDesk report

#AceHistoryReport – Apr.16: In the aftermath, native Andalusians, who were Muslims, were permitted to continue practicing their religion. But after a decade of increasingly hostile religious policing from the new Catholic regime, practicing Islamic traditions and rituals was outlawed. Recent archaeological excavations in Granada, however, have uncovered evidence of Muslim food practices continuing in secret for decades after the conquest.

Archaeology sheds light on the persistence of Muslim cuisine after the Catholic conquest of Granada: In 1492, the city fell to the Catholic conquest.

Archaeology sheds light on the persistence of Muslim cuisine after the Catholic conquest of Granada
Andalusi communal dining bowls known as ‘ataifores’ in El Legado Andalusí, Museum of the Alhambra, Granada. Author provided

The term “Morisco,” which means “little moor,” was used to refer to native Muslims who were forced to convert to Catholicism in 1502, following an edict issued by the Crown of Castile. Similar decrees were issued in the kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon in the following decades, which provoked armed uprisings. 

As a result, between 1609 and 1614, the Moriscos were expelled from the various kingdoms of Spain. Muslims had already been expelled from Portugal by the end of the 15th century. So this brought to an end more than eight centuries of Islamic culture in Iberia.

For many, the conquest of Granada is symbolized by the Alhambra. This hilltop fortress, once the palatial residence of the Islamic Nasrid rulers, became a royal court under the new Catholic regime. Today it is the most visited historical monument in Spain and the best-preserved example of medieval Islamic architecture in the world. Now, archaeology provides us with new opportunities to glimpse the conquest’s impact on local Andalusi communities, far beyond the Alhambra’s walls.

Archaeology sheds light on the persistence of Muslim cuisine after the Catholic conquest of Granada
The Alhambra, Granada. Author provided

Uncovering historical remains in Cartuja

Excavations ahead of development on the University of Granada’s campus in Cartuja, a hill on the outskirts of the modern city, uncovered traces of human activity dating back as far as the Neolithic period (3400-3000 BC). 

Between the 13th to 15th centuries AD, the heyday of Islamic Granada, numerous cármenes (small houses with gardens and orchards) and almunias (small palaces belonging to the Nasrid elite) were built on this hill. Then, in the decades following the Catholic conquest, a Carthusian monastery was built here and the surroundings were completely transformed, with many earlier buildings demolished. 

Archaeologists uncovered a well attached to a house and agricultural plot. The well was used as a rubbish dump for the disposal of unwanted construction materials. Other waste was also found, including a unique collection of animal bones dating to the second quarter of the 16th century.

Archaeology sheds light on the persistence of Muslim cuisine after the Catholic conquest of Granada
The campus of the University of Granada at Cartuja. Credit: University of Granada, Author provided

Archaeological traces of culinary practices

Discarded waste from food preparation and consumption in archaeological deposits—mostly animal bone fragments as well as plant remains and ceramic tableware—provide an invaluable record of the culinary practices of past households. Animal bones, in particular, can sometimes be connected with specific diets adhered to by different religious communities. 

The majority of bones in the well in Cartuja derived from sheep, with a small number from cattle. The older age of the animals, mostly castrated males, and the presence of meat-rich parts indicates they were cuts prepared by professional butchers and procured from a market, rather than reared locally by the household.

The ceramics found alongside the bones reflected Andalusi dining practices, which involved a group of people sharing food from large bowls called ataifores. The presence of these bowls rapidly decreased in Granada in the early 16th century. Smaller vessels, reflecting the more individualistic approach to dining preferred by Catholic households, replaced the ataifores. So the combination of large bowls, sheep bones paired and the absence of pig (pork would have been avoided by Muslims) points to a Morisco household.

Archaeology sheds light on the persistence of Muslim cuisine after the Catholic conquest of Granada
Uncovering the animal bones in the well. Author provided

Politicizing and policing dining

The Catholic regime disapproved of these communal dining practices, which were associated with Andalusi Muslim identity, and eventually banned them. The consumption of pork became the most famous expression of policing dining habits by the Holy Office, more popularly known as the Inquisition. Echoes of this dining revolution can be seen today in the role of pork in Spanish cuisine, including in globally exported cured meats such as chorizo and jamón.

Previously focusing on those suspected of clinging to Jewish practices (forbidden in 1492), in the second half of the 16th century, the Inquisition increasingly turned its attention to Moriscos suspected of practicing Islam in secret, which included avoiding pork. In the eyes of the law, these Muslims were officially Catholic so were seen as heretics if they continued to adhere to their earlier faith. Moreover, since religious and political allegiance became equated, they were also regarded as enemies of the state.

The discarded waste from Cartuja, the first such archaeological example from a Morisco household, demonstrates how some Andalusi families clung to their traditional dining culture as their world was transformed, at least for a few decades:

#AceHistoryDesk report ……..Published: Apr.16: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com