At least 18 private jets or helicopters linked to Russia have been struck from the Isle of Man’s aircraft register, as the offshore authorities enforce sanctions brought in by the EU and UK.
Three aircraft have been removed in the last week, including a helicopter and private jets believed to be ultimately owned by Roman Abramovich, Oleg Tinkov – an oligarch not subject to direct sanctions – and Dmitry Mazepin.
The cancellations ensure that the aircraft cannot be flown in UK or EU airspace, even though they are not directly owned or registered by individuals sanctioned for their connections to Russia.
A spokesperson for the Isle of Man government said that aircraft with a connection to Russia were being “reviewed as a matter of utmost priority”.
He said that the Isle of Man aircraft registry – favoured by the super-rich to avoid taxes liable elsewhere – had acted “proactively and robustly” since the imposition of sanctions, working in cooperation with the UK’s Department for Transport.
He said the registry, known as Iomar, was “duty bound to act appropriately in accordance with such measures, and under these circumstances an aircraft would be de-registered following required legal and regulatory processes”.
Iomar has so far cancelled the registration of 18 aircraft and said it was likely that further deregistrations may follow in a “rapidly evolving situation”.
Among the latest were an Airbus helicopter which has previously been tracked landing on the Chelsea owner Abramovich’s Solaris yacht, and a Gulfstream G650 aircraft owned by Mazepin.
Mazepin, a billionaire owner of mineral fertiliser company Uralchem, was added to the EU sanctions list last week, along with his son, the ex-F1 driver Nikita Mazepin. Mazepin Sr was described in the sanctions document as “a member of the closest circle of Vladimir Putin”.
A Dassault Falcon business jet linked to Oleg Tinkov, the founder of Russian online bank Tinkoff, has also been deregistered. Tinkov is not sanctioned, but his wealth is estimated by Forbes to have fallen more than $5bn in a month as the rouble has collapsed since the invasion.
Russian-owned and operated planes have been banned from UK airspace. Last week a private plane with suspected links to the country was impounded at Farnborough airport on the orders of the transport secretary, Grant Shapps.