Roman Abramovich was hit with a frozen order on assets worth about 4 5.4 billion as police in the Channel Islands searched property belonging to the owner of the Chelsea football club.
The Royal Court in Jersey has ordered the confiscation of the assets of an authorized Russian oligarch, while the Crown Dependency Law Department has said police raided the premises on suspicion of being involved in his business.
Officials said yesterday that the court had issued a “Scythian Judiciary” or a formal restraining order on Abramovich’s assets, either in Jersey or owned by an underlying entity on the island.
The law department and Jersey police declined to comment further.
Officials in the Caribbean region of Antigua and Barbuda claimed earlier this month that they were willing to help UK agencies seize two yachts docked at his port, which he said belonged to Abramovich.
It is understood that the total value of the yachts attached to the oligarch is $ 1.2 billion and some have been docked in Turkey.
Aquamarine, a 50-meter yacht attached to Abramovich, was reportedly transferred to a jersey company on the day Russian tanks crossed the border into Ukraine in February.
The order to freeze the jersey could significantly impede the Russians’ ability to spend, depending on what criteria are used to measure their total wealth.
Abramovich is valued at around 3 6.36 billion, according to US business magazine Forbes. The Bloomberg News Agency, however, estimates its total assets at ৬ 10.6 billion.
The news agency reported that the 55-year-old businessman had a long relationship with Jersey. It claims that Camberley International Investments, whose address is located in St. Helier, the island’s capital, owes a £ 1.07 billion loan to the holding company of West London Football Club.
Jersey joined the UK government last month to impose sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs, including Abramovich, who ministers said were closely linked to President Putin’s Russian rule.
At the time, Jersey’s Minister for Foreign Relations and Financial Services, Ian Gorst, said the island was “cooperating with the United Kingdom in all matters, including those related to Jersey who have been subjected to sanctions.”
Gorst added that “serious criminal consequences” would be used for those who failed to comply.
The EU has followed the lead of the UK government in approving Abramovich. Brussels said in a statement that Oligarch had a “long and close relationship” with Putin that gave him “special privileged access to the presidency”.
The UK sanctions put Chelsea FC under a special license with Whitehall overseeing all financial matters. This forced the club to sell. It is understood that there are four bidders in the frame.
The Channel Islands, just 14 miles off the coast of France, are officially known as the Bellewick of Jersey. Self-governing crown reliance has had a reputation as a tax haven for the past 100 years.
The jurisdiction remains popular with the super-rich because it has no corporate, capital gains or inheritance taxes. Last year it was estimated that the 24 banks on the island had deposits worth around 6 106 billion.