Italy says it seizes property belonging to Russian oligarch Aven

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ROME, March 16 (Reuters) - Italy has seized a building complex on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia partly owned by Russian businessman Petr Olegovich Aven, Prime Minister Mario Draghi's office said on Wednesday.

The operation was part of a broad, Western drive to penalise wealthy Russians linked to President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

Aven owned one third of the confiscated property and his holding was worth around 4 million euros ($4.40 million). It was not clear who owned the rest of the complex.

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An oil investor who built a European business empire with an estimated net worth of $4.7 billion, Aven was placed on an EU sanctions list following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. read more

In the last two weeks, Italian police have sequestered villas and yachts worth hundreds of millions of euros from high-profile Russians placed on European Union sanctions lists since the Feb. 24 invasion. read more

The most valuable asset seized so far was a superyacht owned by billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, which is worth around 530 million euros and was impounded in the northern port of Trieste last Saturday. read more

($1 = 0.9086 euros)

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Reporting by Angelo Amante

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