Russia: Portugal investigates nationality granted to Roman Abramovich a year ago | International

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is also, among many other things, Portuguese. In April 2021, the Portuguese government granted him citizenship based on Sephardic roots which are never well explained. At the time, when the invasion of Ukraine seemed like a dystopian plot, money weighed more than transparency. The procedure for granting Portuguese citizenship to Russian oligarchs took just six months and is supported and administered by the Porto Israel Community, whose rabbi, Daniel Litvak, was arrested by judicial police this Thursday, while preparing to fly to Israel, according to the newspaper. Publicwho a few months ago exposed the peculiarities of this community’s activities to take advantage of the Portuguese citizenship administration.

The Judicial Police confirmed on Friday evening in a statement an operation led by the National Corruption Eradication Unit, which also includes searches of homes and law firms. The State Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation in January to clarify possible irregularities in the processing of files to facilitate nationalization on the grounds of the historical background of Iberian Jews where influence selling, active corruption, document falsification could be carried out. , money laundering, tax fraud and criminal association.

Since 2015, the Nationality Act has allowed descendants of the country’s ancient Jewish community to be nationalized as Portuguese until their expulsion by order of King Manuel I in 1496, four years after the Catholic King expelled them from the crown territory. from Aragon and Castile. The Portuguese government exclusively links the Israeli Communities in Lisbon and Porto the power to certify the Sephardic background of the applicants. Since then, 86,500 requests have been processed, of which the Ministry of Justice has awarded more than 32,000. 90% of applications have been submitted to Porto’s Jewish organizations, including oligarch Roman Abramóvich. Although his citizenship was granted a year ago, this fact was not known until mid-December, thanks to a news item from Public. Just for the processing of these files, the Jewish community has put in more than 19 million euros.

The Russian billionaire, who is also of Israeli and Lithuanian nationality, was one of the main contributors to the Porto Holocaust Museum, which opens to the public in April 2021, just a month before Abramovich visits the city for the UEFA final at Dragon Stadium. , played at the end of May by Manchester United and Chelsea, clubs belonging to the oligarchs. One of the curators of the Holocaust Museum is Hugo Miguel Vaz, who is in charge of submitting information about Abramóvich’s Jewish background to Wikipedia while his file is being processed by the Portuguese government. According to the newspaper Publicedited the billionaire’s profile 18 times in English and Portuguese to record data about his Jewish grandparents.

The modification of the Citizenship Act, which in 2013 included proposals for descendants of the Iberian Sephardim, was proposed by socialist deputy Maria de Belém Roseira, aunt of lawyer Francisco de Almeida Garrett, one of the main figures of the Porto Jewish Community, who is now under suspicion. In a recent article, Roseira defended “fighting fraud” and “defending” the law “which constitutes historical reparation for crimes and disgraceful acts.”

This week, the British government imposed restrictions on owners of the Chelsea football club and froze their assets. This Saturday, English league, the Primehas disqualified the Russian oligarch at the head of the club, which facilitated the sale of the entity as planned.

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