Also M-IABU: Tax Paradise Isle of Man throws oligarchs’ planes

The Isle of Man is a popular place for aircraft registration. Also for the Russian oligarchs. Aircraft are now removed from the aircraft registry, including Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov’s Airbus A340.

M-IABU looks at first like a normal aircraft registration number. But behind it is a very big ego. IABU means “I am Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov”. So, if you don’t know who owns the Airbus A340 that’s about to arrive, the Russian billionaire and friend of Putin has put an HDGDL-style acronym on board.

Or better: it was. Because the Isle of Man has withdrawn the registration of the A340, as confirmed by the head of the island’s civil aviation authority aeroTELEGRAPH. “Yes, it is true that the Isle of Man aircraft registry de-registered this aircraft the morning after European sanctions,” Simon Williams said.

Fortune made of plastic bags

The Isle of Man is a British Crown self-governing territory in the Irish Sea – like the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey – with its own parliament, government, and laws. They are considered a tax haven and therefore also attractive for aircraft registration.

Uzbek Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov arrived on the sanctions lists for Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States on March 3. According to Forbes magazine, he is one of the 100 richest people in the world. He made his first fortune making plastic bags, which were in short supply in the Soviet Union. He now owns multi-million pound villas in the UK, a yacht, and is involved in Premier League football clubs.

Airbus A340 is now back in Tashkent

The European Union describes him as “a favorite of Vladimir Putin’s minority”. The United States published pictures of his yacht and his private plane in a press release. “Usmanov’s relations in the Kremlin enrich him and allow him to lead a luxurious lifestyle,” she says.

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The yacht named Dilbar – his mother’s name – is stuck in Hamburg and has been arrested by the authorities. On the other hand, the luxury Airbus A340 is no longer in the European Union. He was still in Munich at the end of February. But he is now back in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, according to a Twitter profile of Russian Oligarch Jets, which tracks jets of ultra-rich Russians.

All connections to Russia are checked

But for the Isle of Man registration authority, the expulsion of Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov from the Airbus A340 is not enough. “A detailed review is currently underway in collaboration with several relevant authorities,” Williams says. The situation is developing very quickly and we want to identify all possible communications and make sure that we act in a timely manner.

Some links have already been found with Russia,” which are now being reviewed with the highest priority in order to take all appropriate steps to support a coordinated international response to this situation. These steps could cover many aspects and certainly include deregistration of the aircraft.

Seven aircraft were removed from the registry

Last week, Williams said, they “actually acted proactively and decisively and de-registered seven aircraft.” This could be followed by other deregistrations, “depending on how the situation evolves and more information becomes available”.

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