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Moscow confiscates Audemars Piguet luxury watches in response to economic sanctions

Russian FSB agents raided the local branch of the Swiss watch company. Confiscation amounting to several million euros.

Russia launches its counterattack on economic sanctions. This also goes through some of the letters sent to Europe. according to The Swiss magazine NZZ, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) raided the local branch of luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet to seize a collection of watches, some of which sell for hundreds of thousands of euros. In total, the forfeiture loss for the Swiss company will amount to several million euros.

Officially, the Russian authorities invoked customs violations to justify the inspection, but officials from the Swiss Foreign Ministry consider this decision “most likely an arbitrary repressive measure in response to the sanctions.”

Switzerland, sticking firmly to its policy of neutrality, finally agreed to follow Europe in the series of sanctions against Russia. Banks have since been asked to report to the Ministry of Economy about the persons, companies or entities targeted by the sanctions.

The funds are frozen but not confiscated, the frozen assets remain the property of the person concerned as long as there is no legal basis allowing them to be confiscated in Switzerland.

Founded in 1875, Audemars Piguet is one of the last major independent Swiss watch manufacturers, often cited alongside Rolex and Patek Philippe. The brand suspended exports to Russia in February.

Thomas Le Roy BFM Business Journalist

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