France seizes the initiative. The £90 million Riviera mansion of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

The opulent estate of Roman Abramovich on the Caribbean island of St Barts, as well as his £90 million chateau, are among the latest assets confiscated by French police.

France has sanctioned many Russian oligarchs, including Chelsea’s owner. In recent weeks, several governments, including Boris Johnson’s cabinet, have sanctioned Abramovich for supposed ties to Vladimir Putin, which he denies.

Château de la Cro is located in one of the most renowned areas of the French Riviera, the Cap d’Antibes, and is estimated to be valued approximately £90 million by local estate brokers.

France seizes Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

The Economy and Finance Ministry in Paris revealed on Wednesday April 13 that France had seized more than £20 billion in cash and property belonging to Russian oligarchs. Twelve of these properties are owned by Abramovich, preventing him from selling or renting them. Governments are concerned that oligarchs may utilize asset revenue to fuel Russia’s military machine.

“They amount to far over 25 billion euros and include houses, superyachts, and helicopters,” a cabinet source told the Daily Mail. “A total of 33 properties, including a dozen belonging to Roman Abramovich, have been frozen. It’s all part of a slew of sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation in the aftermath of its invasion of Ukraine.”

The majority of Abramovich’s properties were purchased through specially formed French corporations. They include Chateau de la Croe, his estate in Cap d’Antibes, a resort town near Cannes, which was originally the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s Riviera vacation home.

According to local estate agents, the Chelsea CEO spent £30 million refurbishing the chateau, which is now valued at £90 million. On the roof, he erected a 15-meter swimming pool, and in the basement, he created a gym and a home theater.

Property in the Alpine ski resort of Meribel, as well as other opulent Riviera resorts like Saint-Tropez and Cannes, has been frozen.

The French finance ministry has organized a task force comprised of tax inspectors and customs officials to find and seize property owned by Russians included on an EU sanctions list. Six alleged Russian agents “working under diplomatic cover” were also expelled from the country.

The men and women were transported back to Moscow, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, after a protracted investigation by the DGSI domestic security agency. According to the source, their investigation found “a secret operation carried out by Russian intelligence agencies on French soil.”

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