On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Italian police have seized a seaside villa in Sardinia belonging to a Russian Formula One racecar driver — and his Russian oligarch father.
The property, known as Rocky Ram, is reportedly worth €100 million ($109 million).
"The villa seized on Monday is located on Sardinia’s northeast coast not far from other large estates owned by prominent businessmen and politicians, including Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister," reported Eric Sylvers. "Mr. Mazepin’s father, Dmitry Mazepin, is the owner of chemical and fertilizer company Uralchem."
"The European Union placed Mr. Mazepin and his father on the bloc’s list of sanctioned individuals last month. Haas, Mr. Mazepin’s U.S.-based Formula 1 team, had fired him days earlier," the report continued. "Mr. Mazepin has fought back, saying the team had no legal standing to cancel his contract. Last month, soon after his contract had been canceled, he said he had created a foundation that would help athletes that lost the ability to compete for reasons outside of their control."
In recent months, Western governments have been seizing assets belonging to associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to punish them for any complicity in the brutal invasion of Ukraine, which is seeing escalating war crimes committed by Russian forces. European authorities and the U.S. Justice Department have both been seizing mega-yachts owned by Russian billionaires, one of the most recent being a $90 million vessel owned by Viktor Vekselberg, from where it was docked in Mallorca, Spain.