Jack Sweeney first caught the public’s attention after creating a Twitter account dedicated to tracking The private plane of Tesla founder Ilona Maska. Now the teenage student has a new home project involving another group of billionaires: the publication of the movement of private jets owned by Russian oligarchs.

“It would be really cool to see the hijacking of one of their planes,” 19-year-old Sweeney told CBS MoneyWatch, discussing his Twitter account. @RUOligarchJetsor Russian oligarch Jets.

Sweeney, a first-year student at the University of Central Florida, said the account is based on an algorithm he developed that uses public records of aircraft ownership and flight data to track about 30 private jets owned by Russian oligarchs.

The teenager said he was inspired to set up the service after Russia attacked Ukrainewhen people on social media asked him if he could use the algorithm used to track Mask, to monitor the private planes of Russian oligarchs.

“People want these people tracked down, their assets tracked down and their yachts and planes taken away,” Sweeney said.

Since Sweeney launched a service to track the planes of Russian oligarchs, the Twitter account has grown to more than 340,000 subscribers.

The term “oligarch” – referring to a small group in government that controls, usually for corruption – has been used to describe Russia’s extremely wealthy business elite, whose wealth is suspected of being obtained mainly through their political ties to members of the government. , including through the privatization of state assets.

That’s what it means to be an oligarch


In his address on the state of the Union, President Biden said The United States and its allies are waging an economic war against Russian President Vladimir Putin over the country’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as Russian oligarchs who are believed to support him. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Justice announced formation of a new task force to target the oligarchs.

“We are teaming up with our European allies to find and grab your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets. We are coming for your wrong earnings, ”Mr Biden said.

One private plane Sweeney is tracking through a Twitter account @PutinJetbelongs to Putin himself, although flight data are so far only for trips within Russia.

Other aircraft tracked by Sweeney include aircraft owned by them Roman Abramovicha Russian billionaire who this week said he would sell Chelsea football club and donate proceeds to victims of the Ukrainian invasion, and Leonid Michelson, CEO of Russia’s largest natural gas supplier.

“They have huge planes – some of them just keep flying, they don’t stop,” Sweeney said, noting that one of the planes is a commercial Boeing 787.

Owning and operating a Gulfstream GIV for private business use can cost $ 30 to $ 50 million a year, depending on the hangar service and whether you buy a new or used aircraft. according to at Honeywell Aerospace. A version of the private Boeing 787 aircraft could cost more than $ 200 million, Business Insider reports.

Sweeney, who is studying information technology and is looking to get a job in software development in the aviation industry, said he is not worried about threats and his safety because he is in the US. He said he would track more planes if he found information about them.

As for Mask – who is leading in the Bloomberg rankings list with a fortune estimated at $ 226 billion – Sweeney said he was still tracking his plane. He also said Musk offered him $ 5,000 to close the account, but he declined.

“I’m not going to give it up for just $ 5,000,” he said, noting that he made a counter-offer of $ 50,000 or Tesla. “He said that’s not the case – then all the news came out and he blocked me.” .

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