April 10, 2023

A Sanctioned Flight


A Sanctioned Flight
Cessna 172 Skyhawk in Augsburg Airport. Curimedia | P H O T O G R A P H Y, Wikimedia Commons

Journalists from LRT, the largest media group in Lithuania, discovered a scheme in which a Russian entrepreneur bought planes in the EU, bypassing sanctions by acting through companies in Turkey and Italy.

The investigation began when a Cessna 172 plane registered in Denmark landed at the Palanga Airport in Lithuania for refueling. The ultimate destination of the route was Pskov, and the pilot on the plane was a Russian citizen with a Lithuanian residence permit. When the plane was stopped by Lithuanian authorities for a check, the pilot fled.

According to LRT, the plane was bought in Denmark by Turkish company Edermont Ltd, and the intermediary was the Italian company MAK Aviation Services. Both companies are headed by Russian citizen Evgeny Kabanov. In Russia, he is known as the owner of the company Sovremenniye Techonologii, which organizes flights, maintenance, and refueling in Russia and other countries and also provides services for the import of aircraft and spare parts for aircraft to Russia, bypassing sanctions. 

"When almost all borders are closed, and sanctions impede selling aircraft, but you need to buy a plane or helicopter, we have a solution. We will help you with any international transactions. If necessary, we will contact the seller and agree on the price and terms," reads the company’s Telegram channel

According to LRT, Lithuanian and Danish authorities have started an investigation.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the EU has banned planes owned or ordered by Russians from landing in or departing from Europe. The import of aircraft and spare parts for aircraft are also banned. What's more, the biggest international aircraft manufacturers have stopped activities in Russia.

This is not the first time that journalists have revealed schemes to circumvent the sanctions imposed on Russia. Earlier, The Insider reported about a company owned by a friend of Putin’s daughter, which was importing expensive wines under the guise of "samples for certification." And Vazhnie Istorii revealed a scheme in which Western companies were supplying Russia with components for drones.

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