According to reports by Tamedia, the billionaire football-club owner was applying for residency in the ski resort of Verbier when Switzerland’s Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) intervened and put an end to the process in June last year.
The reasons for Fedpol’s intervention were unknown until this week when the Federal Tribunal in Lausanne lifted a ban on the publication of a police report declaring him a threat to security. This report was published by Tamedia on Tuesday in some of its newspapers, including 24 Heures.
The police letter, which contains allegations that are not substantiated by evidence, recommended that the billionaire not be granted a right to reside in Verbier because of suspicions of “money laundering and presumed contact with criminal organizations.” It also alleged that there was reason to believe that the assets of Mr. Abramovich “are at least partially of illegal origin.”
Daniel Glasl, Mr. Abramovich’s lawyer, said “Any suggestion that Mr. Abramovich had been involved in money laundering or has any contacts with criminal organisations is entirely false. Mr. Abramovich has never been charged with participating in money laundering and does not have a criminal record.”
For many years the Russian billionaire had an investor visa to Britain, where he owns the Chelsea football club, however after lengthy delays on its renewal this year he withdrew his application.
In May he was granted Israeli citizenship under Israel’s law of return. Israeli passport holders can enter the UK for short stays without a visa.
24 Heures article (in English)