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HS: Finland has seized more than €80m in Russian property

The seized property includes real estate, industrial raw materials and more than 1,000 Russian freight train cars

The seized property includes an eight-million-euro villa in Hanko owned by Boris Rotenberg Image: Jouko Tapper

Finnish authorities hold frozen assets worth more than 80 million euros due to sanctions imposed on Russia, the daily Helsingin Sanomat reported on Sunday.

The property was owned by Russian individuals and entities who are subject to EU sanctions due to the attack on Ukraine nearly three months ago.

More than 1,000 individuals and 80 entities are subject to an asset freeze "because their actions have undermined Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence," says the European Council.

Potentially priciest items yet to be appraised

According to the newspaper, officials have already appraised the value of most of the frozen assets, but those that are yet to be priced are likely to be more valuable on average than the rest of the items.

Frozen real estate include the property of the Rotenberg family, which formerly held major ownership stakes in the Jokerit ice hockey team and the Helsinki Arena. The seized property includes an eight-million-euro villa in the southern resort town of Hanko. It is owned by Boris Rotenberg, an industrial tycoon and close associate of President Vladimir Putin who has held a Finnish passport since 2002. He was eligible as his former father-in-law was an Ingrian Finn.

In March, Customs officials said they had blocked 21 Russian-owned luxury yachts from leaving Finland.

€44m worth of iron, 1,000 train cars

Large deliveries of raw materials have also been seized. For example, up to 44 million euros' worth of iron ore pellets are being held in the Kokkola port area on Finland's west coast. The EU banned imports of all iron and steel products from Russia and Belarus in March. Some 1.4 million euros worth of acetic acid in a Kotka firm's stock has also been frozen.

The National Enforcement Authority Finland has seized more than 1,000 Russian freight train cars. It estimates that the value of the wagons and their contents may be in the tens of millions of euros.

The carriages are stored in secret places on sidings and yards to avoid tampering or vandalism, Eljas Koistinen, Commercial Director of VR Transpoint, told the paper.

The confiscated carriages take up about 20 kilometres of track. The longest Russian freight trains that were travelling across Finland were about a kilometre long.

State rail operator VR caused confusion during the early stages of the war by first banning Russian cargo trains and then re-allowing them for a time before blocking them again.