Jersey court freezes $7 bln of assets connected to Abramovich

Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea football club Roman Abramovich arrives at a division of the High Court in central London October 31, 2011. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - The Royal Court of Jersey has imposed a formal freezing order on $7 billion worth of assets linked to Roman Abramovich while police have searched properties linked to the billionaire, the British Channel Island's Law Officers' Department said.

Abramovich was among several wealthy Russians added last month to British and European Union sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and governments have since been taking action to seize yachts and other luxury assets from them.

In a statement, the Law Officers' Department for the self-governing British Crown Dependency said Jersey Police had on Tuesday carried out searches of premises suspected of being connected to Abramovich's business activities.

"The Royal Court also imposed a formal freezing order on 12 April, known as a saisie judiciaire, over assets understood to be valued in excess of US$7 billion which are suspected to be connected to Mr Abramovich and which are either located in Jersey or owned by Jersey incorporated entities," it said.

The Department said it would make no further comment at this stage. No one from Jersey Police could be reached for comment.

Earlier this month, the Caribbean nation Antigua and Barbuda said it was willing to help Britain seize yachts owned by Abramovich. Superyachts linked to the businessman, together worth an estimated $1.2 billion, have also been docked in southwest Turkey. read more

Abramovich had sought to sell Premier League soccer club Chelsea before he was sanctioned, but that process was taken out of his hands by the British government after his finances were blacklisted.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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