Chelsea Owner and Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich has seen his quest for citizenship in Switzerland denied due to his being deemed “a possible threat to public security” by Swiss law enforcement officials.
The exceedingly wealthy man, ranked by Forbes magazine as among the top 200 in the world, has seen his application for residency in Switzerland rejected due to the suspicions of the Federal Office of Police (FedPol). The police agency suspects that Abramovich might have been involved in money laundering, and also has concerns that he could have contacts to alleged criminal organizations.
FedPol did not publicly produce any evidence to back these suspicions however, according to a report in the Tanges-Anzeiger, a Swiss newspaper (h/t The Independent). Abramovich has never been formally charged, or even accused, of a crime in Switzerland. Or in any other country for that matter.
His attorney, Daniel Glasl, denies the allegations made against his client and said he will lodge a criminal complaint as a response.
“We are extremely disappointed by the release and publication of confidential information from Swiss government files regarding Mr Abramovich, which occurred in clear violation of Swiss criminal law and Swiss data protection laws,” Glasl said in a statement published by ESPN.
“We have filed a request for correction of facts to the Swiss Federal Police and will be filing a criminal complaint against unknown persons responsible for dissemination of this confidential information.
“Any suggestion that Mr Abramovich has been involved in money-laundering or has contacts with criminal organizations is entirely false.”
Zurich-based media group Tamedia was the first media outlet to publish the FedPol documents, and they fought an 18 month legal battle to do so.
Roman Abramovich has also encountered some serious issues with federal government officials in two other countries this year. His visa allowing him to work in the United Kingdom expired in April, and applications to have it renewed were rejected.
In January, he was named to the United States Treasury Department’s “Vladimir Putin List,” or “Russian Oligarchs List,” which does not entail any sanctioning, but does put those included in the list on notice that they could likely be hit with economic sanctions in the near future.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.