Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s seven children ‘were listed as the beneficiaries of 10 offshore trusts holding billions of pounds in assets before the billionaire was hit with sanctions amid Ukraine war’
- Russian tycoon’s seven children were given beneficial ownership of secretive offshore trusts, it was claimed after leaked files from Cyprus were reported
- The 10 offshore trusts were holding assets worth at least £3.3bn, it was claimed
- Children may now have access to string of luxury assets shielded from sanctions
Roman Abramovich’s seven children were listed as the beneficiaries of 10 offshore trusts holding billions of pounds in assets before he was hit with sanctions, it has been claimed.
The Russian oligarch’s children acquired beneficial ownership of secretive trusts with assets worth at least £3.3billion just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, the Guardian reports.
Of his seven offspring, five of whom are adults, their status as beneficiaries of the 10 trusts could provide them with access to a string of luxury assets, including a superyacht and shares in Russian firms, ultimately shielded from sanctions, it was reported.
The ‘sweeping reorganisation’ of his final affairs shortly before ex-Chelsea owner Abramovich was sanctioned by the British government is detailed in a series of leaked files from a Cyprus-based offshore service firm administering the trusts.
Roman Abramovich’s seven children were listed as the beneficiaries of 10 offshore trusts holding billions of pounds in assets before he was hit with sanctions
An anonymous source shared the ‘large cache’ of documents – dubbed ‘the Oligarch files’ – with the newspaper, it reported.
They show that Abramovich’s children – five of whom are adults, with the youngest aged nine – became the trusts’ majority beneficial owners.
The reorganisation happened just as Western governments were threatening to sanction Russian oligarchs if Moscow ordered an invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich, worth an estimated £10billion, had his array of luxury properties, jets, cars, boats, and his crown jewel, Chelsea FC, frozen by the UK Government following Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Those included his 15-bedroom mansion at Kensington Palace Gardens, valued at more than £150m, a three-storey penthouse at Chelsea Waterfront, worth an estimated £22m, two superyachts worth an estimated £1billion and a Boeing 787-7 Dreamliner jet.
Best known of the 56-year-old billionaire’s brood is glamorous Sofia, 28, a Royal Holloway graduate and equestrian who has partied with the Beckhams and the Ramsays.
She is the third of three children from Abramovich’s second marriage to former flight attendant Irina, alongside Anna, 31, a philosophy graduate who lives in the US, budding businessman Arkadiy, 29, and siblings Arina, 22, and Ilya, 20, who prefer to stay out of the spotlight.
Best known of the 56-year-old billionaire’s brood is glamorous Sofia, 28, a Royal Holloway graduate and equestrian who has partied with the Beckhams and the Ramsays
His eldest daughter Anna studied philosophy at Columbia University in New York and continues to live in the US
Above: The oligarch and former Chelsea FC owner is pictured with his son Arkadiy
Abramovich also has two children from his marriage to third wife, Dasha Zhukova. Son Aaron and daughter Leah Lou, nine, live with their mother in New York.
Sofia’s Instagram feed is full of snaps of holidays to Ibiza, the Maldives and St Barts, where Abramovich has a 70-acre estate. Others have her training for or taking part in showjumping competitions; she represented Russia in London in 2014.
Anna, who studied philosophy at Columbia University in New York and continues to live in the US, made headlines when she got engaged at 18 (they later split) and previously partied with Calum Best and Ronnie Wood’s son, Jamie.
It has previously been reported that his children, all Russian citizens, had been made beneficiaries of two trusts established to benefit Abramovich. But the extent of the changes now being reported was not previously known.
‘The leaked documents raise questions about whether the changes to trusts were made in an attempt to shield the oligarch’s vast fortune from the threat of asset freezes,’ said the Guardian.
The 56-year-old former Chelsea Football Club owner is seen as a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been sanctioned by Britain, the EU and Canada, though not the US
The 56-year-old former Chelsea Football Club owner is seen as a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been sanctioned by Britain, the EU and Canada, though not the US.
However, the US Justice Department seized two of his aircrafts last year, saying they had been used in violation of sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine.
Through the 10 trusts, Abramovich’s seven children now appear to be the ultimate beneficial owners of various trophy assets long linked to him, the Guardian said.
They include a host of luxury properties, super-yachts, helicopters and other private jets.
The changes – enacted around a month before the UK government sanctioned him on March 10 – left their beneficial ownership stakes in the trusts ranging from a collective 51 percent to 100 percent in some, the paper added.
Neither Abramovich nor MeritServus, the Cyprus-based offshore service provider that administers the trusts, responded to the Guardian’s request for comment about the arrangements. MeritServus cited privacy laws.
Abramovich, who holds Russian, Israeli and Portuguese citizenship, has denied financial ties to the Kremlin and filed legal action to overturn the EU’s measures.
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