Even before the war began, Roman Abramovich transferred large parts of his fortune to his children for fear of sanctions. This is reported by the British newspaper The Guardian. This makes it more difficult for the authorities to confiscate his assets.

According to a newspaper report, shortly before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich tried to protect his assets from sanctions by transferring billions to his children. According to research published by the British newspaper The Guardian on Friday, Abramovich’s seven children were entitled to property, yachts, helicopters and private jets, among other things, through the restructuring of trust companies.

According to the “Guardian”, it is about assets “worth at least four billion US dollars” (equivalent to around 3.76 billion euros). According to documents obtained by the British daily, ten trusts were “quickly reorganized in early February 2022” in favor of Abramovich. Abramovich’s youngest son, who benefited from the restructuring, is nine years old.

Abramovich is said to have close ties to the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin. The western sanctions because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine had massive consequences for the oligarch, especially in Great Britain. All of his assets were frozen there. London football club Chelsea, which he had owned for almost 20 years, was taken over by a group of investors led by US businessman Todd Boehly.

In March 2022, the EU and Great Britain put Abramovich and other personalities on a sanctions list because of his closeness to the government in Moscow. However, the USA did not sanction Abramovich – which the imprisoned Russian Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny publicly criticized. In June, US authorities seized only two planes owned by Abramovich.

According to the Guardian, the February restructuring of Abramovich’s assets is not illegal. However, it makes it more difficult for the authorities to confiscate or freeze the affected assets – since Abramovich’s children are not affected by Western sanctions.

According to the Guardian, access to the documents on Abramovich’s assets came after a hacker attack on a financial institution that manages Abramovich’s trusts in Cyprus.