Jersey has frozen more than $7bn (£5.4bn) of assets linked to the sanctioned Russian oligarch and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.
The Royal Court of Jersey announced on Wednesday that it had imposed “a formal freezing order” on “assets understood to be valued in excess of US$7bn which are suspected to be connected to Mr Abramovich and which are either located in Jersey or owned by Jersey incorporated entities”.
The government of Jersey, a self-governing British crown dependency favoured by the world’s wealthy for its very low taxes and reputation for strict banking secrecy, said the local police had raided several properties linked to Abramovich.
“Search warrants were executed by the States of Jersey police on Tuesday 12 April 2022 at premises in Jersey suspected to be connected to the business activities of Roman Abramovich,” the island’s Law Officers’ Department said in a statement.
The Guardian last week revealed that a 50-metre superyacht linked to Abramovich had been transferred to a Jersey company on the day of the Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The department would not comment on the yacht, and said it would not be providing any further details. A spokesperson for Abramovich did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The yacht, Aquamarine, is the fifth vessel to have been linked to Abramovich. On 24 February, ownership of the yacht passed from a company previously controlled by Abramovich to a close associate of his, the Russian businessman David Davidovich.
Davidovich said he was the owner of Aquamarine as well as the Jersey-domiciled company MHC Jersey Ltd, which is registered as the owner of the yacht on the maritime database MarineTraffic.
Abramovich was subjected to UK sanctions on 10 March after ministers accused him of having “clear connections” to Putin’s regime and being among a group of rich Russian businessmen who had “blood on their hands”.
Jersey has vowed to follow the UK’s sanction regime and to “take targeted measures to prevent Jersey services providers or structures being abused”.
Last month the island’s external relations minister, Ian Gorst, said the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and the island’s police would cooperate “with international authorities, in particular those in the UK and across the transatlantic task force, where potential activities or assets are identified”.
Earlier this month, the Caribbean nation Antigua and Barbuda said it was willing to help seize two superyachts owned by Abramovich docked in its ports.