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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich seeking Israeli citizenship amid United Kingdom visa delay

29 May, 2018, 06:56 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Reuters Staff  Reuters

The official, from Israel's Immigration Ministry, says the Chelsea football club owner arrived in Israel on Monday.

Russian billionaire and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich was granted Israeli citizenship and is moving to Tel Aviv after his British visa expired, according to local media reports. He has also reportedly bought a property in the city.

In Britain, Mr. Abramovich had an investor visa - valid for three years and four months and normally extended every two years - which expired at the end of April.

Mr. Johnson suggested last week that the British government might take further action "to crack down on people close to Putin who may have illicit or ill-gotten wealth".

Joe Skipper  Reuters                   Abramovich's little boat
Joe Skipper Reuters Abramovich's little boat

Mr Abramovich is now in Tel Aviv but a spokesman would not comment on media reports that his citizenship had been granted.

Abramovich's visa situation - first reported in the Financial Times - comes at a time of heightened tensions between the United Kingdom government and Russia following the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury back in March, as well as allegations of illegal Russian interference in the lead-up to the Brexit referendum vote.

The Russian oligarch, who is worth an estimated £8.6 billion, instantly became Israel's wealthiest person after receiving his citizenship on Monday. According to the newspaper, the businessman will live in a manor in Tel-Aviv's prestigious neighborhood Neve Tsedek he bought from Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot.

With an Israeli passport, Mr Abramovich would not need a visa to travel to the European Union for short visits. He has owned the team since 2003 and has been present at almost every game, until his visa problems began.

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