December 21, 2023

Federal prosecutors in Germany file motion to seize frozen Russian funds

On December 20, 2023, Der Generalbundesanwalt, Germany’s Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, announced that it filed a motion to seize more than €720 million in funds that were frozen in connection with a suspected violation of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act.  According to federal prosecutors, the funds were associated with a Russian financial institution that was sanctioned in June of 2022 under the so-called Russia Embargo Order (Council Regulation [EU] No 269/2014) in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  As a result, all assets associated with the Russian entity that were deposited with European financial institutions were frozen and no longer subject to transactions.  Following the imposition of sanctions, certain unknown individuals acting on behalf of the Russian entity allegedly attempted to deduct more than €720 million from its bank account in Frankfurt am Main – an electronic transfer that was not executed by the bank.  Federal prosecutors reported that they filed the motion to confiscate the funds because it was currently impossible for them to prosecute the individuals involved in the offense.

Der Generalbundesanwalt Press Release