Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has $7 billion in assets frozen in Jersey in latest Ukraine fallout

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has $7 billion in assets frozen in Jersey in latest Ukraine fallout

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich looks on after their 3-1 win in the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on December 19, 2015 in London, England.

Clive Mason | Getty Images

Authorities in the island country of Jersey froze assets valued at more than $7 billion that are suspected of being connected to Roman Abramovich, the latest financial fallout for that Russian oligarch as a result of the Ukraine war.

States of Jersey Police also executed search warrants Tuesday at locations in Jersey suspected to be connected to Abramovich’s business activities, according to a statement by the Law Officer’s Department in that country.

Jersey, part of the Channel Islands located off the coast of Normandy, France, Jersey, is a self-governing country whose head of state is Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The United Kingdom provides military protection to the island.

The actions come a month after the UK announced financial sanctions against the 56-year-old Abramovich for his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the architect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On the heels of that unprovoked war, Abramovich announced that he would sell the renowned London soccer club Chelsea.

The Guardian newspaper last week reported that Abramovich shifted his ownership of a superyacht, “Aquamarine,” to a company based in Jersey that is controlled by an associate of his, David Davidovich, on Feb. 24, the same day that Russia invaded Ukraine.

It was not clear Wednesday if the 50-meter-long Aquamarine, which remains in dry dock in the Netherlands, is one of the assets frozen by Jersey authorities.

“The Royal Court also imposed a formal freezing order on 12 April, known as a saisie judiciaire, over assets understood to be valued in excess of US$7 billion which are suspected to be connected to Mr Abramovich and which are either located in Jersey or owned by Jersey incorporated entities,” Jersey’s Law Officers’ Department said in a statement Wednesday that declined further comment.

The Financial Times reported that Abramovich has moved a number of his investments from the British Virgin Islands to Jersey in recent years. Those include a number of helicopters, and the superyacht Sussurro, the newspaper noted.

The Bailiwick Express’s Jersey edition reported that Abramovich was expected to move to Jersey in 2018, but that did not happen after the renewal of his UK visa was delayed on the heels of the poisoning of the former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city Salisbury.

Jersey and Guernsey, which is also relies on the U.K. for protection, ordered financial industry firms there to freeze the assets of five Russian banks and three other billionaires after Putin ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine in late February, the BBC reported at the time.

Also that month, Jersey External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said the island would take “further measures” that were in line with actions by the UK.

“Officers continue to work closely with UK counterparts, and we are ready to take further measures to ensure Jersey’s response is in line with the international community,” Gorst said at that time.

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