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25
February
2022

SEIZE THEM:Labour MP urges government to seize Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s assets amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Labour MP Chris Bryant urged the British government on Friday to seize the assets of Russian billionaire and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, citing concerns about alleged links to corruption.

Abramovich was identified by the Home Office in 2019 as having links to the Russian state as well as to “corrupt activity and practices”, Bryant said, suggesting the UK should seize his assets and bar him from owning the football club.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Bryant urged the government to remove Abramovich’s ownership of Chelsea and seize his assets. According to the Guardian, raising the issue of tier 1 visas, the sort held by Abramovich, Bryant said, “As part of HMG’s [Her Majesty’s Government] Russia strategy aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign activity, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices.”

“An example of this is Abramovich admitting in court proceedings that he paid for political influence. Therefore HMG is focused on ensuring individuals linked to illicit finance and malign activity are unable to base themselves in the UK and will use the relevant tools at its disposal, including immigration powers to prevent this’.”

Bryant said that the document had been produced three years ago. “Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country? Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets including his £152m home?”

In 2018, Mr Abramovich experienced delays when applying to extend his visa to stay in the UK and eventually withdrew his application.

In October 2021, the businessman’s spokesperson confirmed he travelled to London as an Israeli citizen – therefore entering the United Kingdom without the need for a visa.

Abramovich is one of Russia’s richest people and is believed to be close to President Vladimir Putin. Earlier this week, the UK government announced it would impose sanctions on three billionaires with close links to Putin

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