Roman Abramovich was denied residency in Switzerland because police dubbed him a “threat to public security,” the Tanges-Anzeiger newspaper reported on Wednesday.
In a recently released Swiss Federal Office of Police (FedPol) report about Mr. Abramovich, the agency urged authorities to reject his application as they suspected he was involved in money laundering and claimed he had ties to “criminal organizations.”
The Chelsea owner’s lawyer, Daniel Glasl, insisted Abramovich is not guilty of wrongdoing and rubbished claims of him being involved in money laundering or any criminal activity.
“Any suggestion that Mr. Abramovich has been involved in money laundering or has contacts with criminal organizations is entirely false. Mr. Abramovich has never been charged with participating in money laundering and does not have a criminal record. He has never had, or been alleged to have, connections with criminal organizations,” Mr. Glasl said in a statement.
Indeed, at this moment in time, the Russian billionaire has not been charged or even accused of any specific crimes, and his legal team have filed a “correction of facts” to FedPol, according to Mr. Glasl.
The 51-year-old businessman applied for a residency permit in Switzerland some two years ago, and although Swiss immigration authorities regularly fast-track applications to grant residency if the person will bring in significant amount of tax revenue, Abramovich’s application was rejected.
He obtained Israeli citizenship earlier this year after UK immigration authorities opted not to extend his visa. By obtaining Israeli citizenship, Abramovich can visit Britain on a visa-free basis, allowing him to conduct business in the UK and run his Premier League football club.