What happens to seized assets (Money/property/etc) when governments sanction another country.


We keep hearing in the news how a certain countries assets are being seized around the world. People are having their yachts seized and foreign nationals are having properties also seized… but what exactly happens to the money in those bank accounts… to the property being seized by other governments and the yachts seized… do they owners get them back after the conflict is over? or does the government consider it now their property? Does the property just get listed for sale? What happens exactly to money in bank accounts seized…

In: 14

1. It can be kept/held by the big bad government that took it.

2. It can be sold and the government can keep it all, give back the money with the country whose assets they took, or they can return it all.

3. They can just give the assets back to whom they were taken if they comply with their demands.

Majority of wealth of any billionaire will be stored in offshore havens under shell companies hard to trace. They may keep tangible asset which wont effect them alot, except that they wont be able to invest in that country any more. Loss for the country really

1) Assets remain frozen until relations normalise, however long that takes – this is the preferred solution, as frozen assets can be leverage for future discussions

Case Study: In 1946, the UK seized 1.5tons of Albanian gold which had been looted by the Nazis and was on its way back to Albania; as part of the Corfu Incident (which is pretty interesting in itself). It took until 1996, after the Communist government in Albania had been dissolved before both parties reached a settlement and the assets were unfrozen.

2) Assets are confiscated and used.

Case Study: In 2001, $97m worth of frozen Cuban bank accounts were used to compensate pilots of a Cuban-American NGO shot down over Cuba

3) Assets are confiscated and then sold, before being used.

Case Study: North Korean ship Wise Honest was seized in Indonesia in violation of sanctions in 2018, and later transferred to the US. The ship was then scrapped and proceeds were used to compensate families of Americans who had been killed by the North Korean regime.

4) Assets are destroyed – usually arms/narcotics seized

Case Study: In 2017, Egyptian authorities seized 30,000 rocket propelled grenades headed to North Korea and destroyed them

From u/sharfpang:

5) Assets remain frozen indefinitely, until nature takes its action.

Case study: 2,750 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate confiscated from Moldovan-flagged cargo ship MV Rhosus in 2013 in Beirut, lay in a warehouse with no-one really knowing what to do with it, until in 2020 workers welding the warehouse door accidentally set the cargo on fire, leading to an explosion that leveled a large part of the port, killed 218 people and injured over 7000.

To answer your actual question.

When money is frozen, they basically lock your bank account. The money stays where it is but you can no longer access it or do anything with it. It basically turns into a savings account.

For actual things like property or yachts, they literally take it. The yacht might get docked somewhere and taped off. The properties are entered and basically the locks are changed. Any occupants get kicked out.