Tuesday 16 October 2018

Abramovich rejected for Swiss visa over 'link to cash crime'

The 51-year-old Mr Abramovich has faced difficulties obtaining permission to live in more than one country of late. Picture credit; David Maher / Sportsfile
The 51-year-old Mr Abramovich has faced difficulties obtaining permission to live in more than one country of late. Picture credit; David Maher / Sportsfile

Justin Huggler

Roman Abramovich was blocked from obtaining Swiss residency over suspicions he was involved in money laundering and in contact with criminal organisations, according to allegations made public for the first time.

The Russian billionaire, best known as the owner of Chelsea Football Club, denied the allegations, describing them as "entirely false" in a statement from his Swiss lawyers.

The 51-year-old Mr Abramovich has faced difficulties obtaining permission to live in more than one country of late.

He reportedly withdrew an application to renew his UK visa over the summer after it came under scrutiny and was delayed. A few months earlier, he had similarly dropped an attempt to obtain residency in Switzerland.

At the time, the Swiss press was blocked from reporting details of the case after Mr Abramovich won an injunction in the Swiss courts, but details of the allegations were published yesterday after a Swiss media group succeeded in overturning the injunction.

They include allegations that Mr Abramovich was involved in money laundering in Geneva in the 1990s and that some of his estimated €10bn fortune may have been illegally obtained. Mr Abramovich applied for Swiss residency in 2016, according to details in the respected 'Tages-Anzeiger' newspaper.

Mr Abramovich's application was submitted to federal authorities for approval, as is routine in Switzerland. But in January last year the Swiss Federal Police, popularly known as FedPol, issued a damning assessment.

They evaluated Mr Abramovich as a danger to Switzerland's international reputation and a potential security risk, according to the newspaper. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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