Russian-Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich has immigrated to Israel. The owner of Chelsea football club landed in Israel just before midday and received Israeli citizenship including an ID card from Ministry of Interior officials at Ben Gurion Airport. Abramovich can now obtain an Israeli passport, which would enable him to enter the UK without a visa. The British authorities have reportedly been denying Abramovich a visa on his Russian passport and he even missed Chelsea's victory over Man. Utd, in the English cup final earlier this month.
“Roman Abramovich arrived at the Israeli embassy in Moscow like any other person. He filed a request to receive an immigration permit, his documents were checked according to the Law of Return, and he was indeed found eligible,” a Ministry of Interior spokesperson told Channel 10 news. He subsequently flew to Israel, the Ministry of Interior confirmed.
Abramovich's private jet touched down in Israel at 11.40 this morning. Some reports say that after receiving his documentation as an Israeli, Abramovich flew off three hours later, while others had him staying overnight at a Tel Aviv hotel.
Abramovich owns the Varsano boutique hotel in Tel Aviv's Neve Tzedek neighborhood, which he bought for NIS 100 million in 2015 and is converting into his Israeli home. He bought the hotel from Gal Gadot's husband Yaron Varsano and his brother Guy. Although a frequent visitor to Israel, it is unclear whether Abramovich will spend more time in the country or whether taking citizenship was simply a ploy to counter British refusal to grant him a visa.
Abramovich has a net worth of $11.5 billion according to Forbes, making him the wealthiest Israeli, surpassing Eyal Ofer's $9.3 billion.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 28, 2018
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