(Bloomberg) -- The European Union proposed a new law that would make it easier to seize sanctioned Russians’ assets from superyachts to Riviera mansions.
The draft rules put forward by the European Commission would extend the list of crimes that allows authorities to move on assets to include sanctions breaches. Rules currently diverge across the EU hampering efforts to control the flow of Russian money across the nations.
“Today the European Commission adopted a proposal to make the violations of sanctions a criminal offense across the European Union,” Christian Wigand, a spokesman for the EU authority, said at a press conference Friday.
Depending on the offense, an individual could be sent to prison while a company would be liable to fines starting at 5% of the global revenue.
The current regime only allows for sanctioned assets to be frozen, limiting a country’s ability to move or sell valuable vessels and homes. Separately, the EU is exploring ways to see how any proceeds from selling frozen efforts could go toward rebuilding critical infrastructure in Ukraine.
EU nations have so far frozen about €18.9 billion ($19.8 billion) of assets belonging to sanctioned Russian individuals and entities since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.
The EU’s plans have already received the backing of the European Parliament and member governments gave their unanimous approval on Nov. 28, saying the new EU law would be an “essential tool to ensure any attempts to circumvent” sanctions “will be stopped.”
The EU is also weighing handing new powers to its fledgling public prosecutor’s office over concerns the bloc’s current system is failing to rein in rich Russians trying to evade sanctions.
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