Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
- Roman Abramovich transferred assets to his children before the Ukraine invasion, per The Guardian.
- The oligarch’s assets included properties, superyachts, helicopters, and private jets.
- He owns at least 10 more yachts than was previously known, per the report.
Roman Abramovich’s assets including luxury properties, superyachts, helicopters and private jets, were transferred to his children weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, The Guardian reported.
Ten offshore trusts that hold assets belonging to the sanctioned Russian oligarch were amended in February 2022, according to leaked files revealed by the newspaper.
Assets worth more than $4 billion were transferred to his seven children only three weeks before the start of the war, the report said. The longtime associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin was sanctioned by the UK and European Union in March.
His children’s beneficial interest in the trust’s assets – including the Eclipse superyacht worth $700 million and shares in Russian companies – rose from 51% to 100%, per the report.
In addition to his six yachts worth more than $1 billion, it was revealed that Abramovich owns at least 10 more yachts and vessels via offshore companies, Forbes reported, citing files it obtained alongside the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
The shuffling of assets were detailed in hacked files from Cypriot company MeritServus, which managed the former Chelsea FC owner’s finances for two decades, per the reports.
Demetris Ioannides, the chairman of MeritSevus, didn’t respond to The Guardian’s requests for comment but said: “The paramount responsibility of a trustee is to protect the assets of a trust.”
Companies controlled by Abramovich’s trusts had assets worth $2.5 billion at the end of 2021, per the reports.
The oligarch’s net wealth has increased by $72 million in the year to date, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, to more than $7 billion.
Abramovich seemingly reorganized other assets just weeks before the invasion of Ukraine. He transferred ownership of two private jets in February worth $400 million to his children via two trusts that control a web of shell companies, an FBI agent claimed in June.
Abramovich also tried to sell a property 15 days before the invasion, but was stopped by Portuguese authorities who froze the asset. Three months after being hit by sanctions, the billionaire sold Chelsea football club for $5.3 billion after owning the club for 19 years.
Representatives for Abramovich did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.