A small island in the English Channel is freezing assets linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich worth more than $7 billion — the latest in a series of crackdowns targeting the billionaire over his close ties to the Kremlin.
The Channel Island of Jersey, a well-known tax haven with a reputation for attracting foreign investors, said its order was implemented after local authorities raided addresses that were “suspected to be connected” to Abramovich.
The frozen assets were either located in Jersey or owned by business entities that are incorporated on the island. The exact contents of the frozen assets was not immediately clear.
“The government of Jersey continues to stand alongside the UK and international partners and has implemented all UK and UN sanctions deployed in response to Russia’s actions against Ukraine,” Ian Gorst, Jersey’s minister for external relations and financial services, told the Financial Times.
“Our legislation to give force to these measures has severe criminal consequences, and any links to sanctioned entities or suspected breaches must be reported to the appropriate authorities,” Gorst added.
Abramovich has faced intense scrutiny from Western officials since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in late February. The United Kingdom implemented sanctions against Abramovich, freezing his assets, including his ownership of Premier League soccer club Chelsea.
French authorities have seized 12 properties owned by Abramovich in recent weeks — including his $120 million Riviera mansion.
Abramovich’s fleet of superyachts — comprised of at least five vessels collectively worth more than $1 billion – also faces seizure. Two of the ships, the $600 million Solaris and the $700 million Eclipse, fled to sea when the UK imposed its sanctions.
The FT reported that Abramovich has moved a number of assets to Jersey from the British Virgin Islands in the last few years — with helicopters and at least one yacht among the items held through Jersey-based entities.
Jersey is self-government but is considered a dependency of the United Kingdom — meaning the UK is responsible for its defense.
While Abramovich is known to be one of the world’s richest Russian oligarchs, the extent of his personal fortune is a subject of debate. Forbes estimates Abramovich’s wealth at roughly $8.2 billion, while the Bloomberg Billionaires Index says he is worth nearly $14 billion.
With Post wires