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Meet Israel’s newest (and richest) citizen

Roman Abramovich. London Pixels Creative Commons

Israel’s Interior Ministry confirmed on Monday that  the Russian-Jewish billionaire businessman Roman Abramovich has immigrated to Israel.

Abramovich, who owns the English football club, Chelsea, landed Thursday in Israel to finalize his aliyah, following Britain’s refusal to extend his visa,

Abramovich’s British visa expired last month, according to the Israel Hayom daily. His previous visa was granted before more rigorous regulations were instituted in April 2015.

There is no evidence that Abramovich has done anything wrong, but the United Kingdom has scrutinized Russian businesspeople and diplomats more carefully since the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England, in March. Several Russian diplomats were expelled following the incident.

Abramovich missed Chelsea’s FA Cup final victory over Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London on May 19. He has owned the team since 2003 and has been present at nearly every game, until his visa problems began, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Abramovich’s net worth is estimated to be  US$12.5 billion, instantly making him the richest person in Israel. As a new citizen, Abramovich is exempt from taxes in Israel for 10 years, and need not declare the sources of his income for that period.

It is reported that he will live in a mansion in Tel Aviv’s neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek, a former hotel he purchased from Israeli Hollywood actress Gal Gadot.


With CJN wire services

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