Evidence Emerges On How Abramovich Acquired Fortune Through Illegal and Corrupt Oil Deals
Fact and evidence have emerged on how Roman Abramovich, Chelsea FC owner, reportedly acquired his fortune through corrupt oil deals.
According to a BBC report, documents showed that the 55-year-old cheated the Russian government out of $2.7 billion in a deal that saw him acquire Sibneft, an oil company, in 1995.
The Chelsea FC owner bought the company from the Russian government in a rigged auction for $250 million and would go on to make billions from it. He then sold it back to the Russian government for $13 billion in 2005.
In 2012, Abramovich had already admitted in a UK court that he made Boris Berezovsky, former business associate, bribe a government official with $10 million to help get the Sibneft deal.
The report citing “a document that is thought to have been smuggled out of Russia,” revealed that the Russian authorities wanted to charge Abramovich with fraud over the deal.
“The Dept. of Economic Crimes investigators came to the conclusion that if Abramovich could be brought to trial he would have faced accusations of fraud… by an organised criminal group,” the report read.
It also revealed that former President Boris Yeltsin protected Abramovich from the various probes, describing how Yuri Skuratov, a chief prosecutor of the case, was sacked after the release of a sex tape in 1999.
“Skuratov was preparing a criminal case for the confiscation of Sibneft on the basis of the investigation of its privatisation. The investigation was stopped by President Yeltsin … Skuratov was dismissed from his office,” the report read.
Upon the ascension of Vladimir Putin in 2000, the report also detailed another rigged auction involving Abramovich while trying to acquire Slavneft, another Russian oil company.
It stated that the bid was against a Chinese consortium and described how a member of the Chinese delegation was kidnapped when they arrived in Moscow for the auction. The incident, the report said, forced the Chinese company to withdraw from the auction while Abramovich and his partners bought the company at a cheaper price.
“CNPC, Chinese company, a very strong competitor, had to withdraw from the auction after one of its representatives was kidnapped upon arrival at Moscow Airport and was released only after the company declared its withdrawal,” it read.
However, Abramovich’s lawyers denied the allegations of corruption and criminality in the report.
The embattled billionaire was recently sanctioned by the UK government because of his links to Putin.
All his assets have been frozen including Chelsea, forcing the board of the English Premier League (EPL) to disqualify him as the director of the club.