Rabbi detained in Abramovich probe — Analysis

The embattled Russian oligarch may lose his EU passport if he is investigated into how he obtained Portuguese citizenship.

Portugal police have taken a top rabbini into custody as they investigate how Roman Abramovich (Russian businessman, Chelsea Football Club owner) obtained Portuguese citizenship.

Rabbi Daniel Litvak was arrested by judicial police officers at the airport in the country’s second-largest city, Porto, on Thursday as he was about to board a flight to Israel, Portuguese daily Publico reported.

Litvak, the Jewish Community of Porto’s head, was given the responsibility of reviewing applications from Portuguese citizens descended from Sephardic Jews.

This law was passed in 2013. It is meant to make amends for religious persecution that occurred during Inquisitions in Portugal and Spain in 16 century. Many Jews were forced to conceal their identities or flee those countries.

Portugal comes to defense of Russian billionaire sanctioned by UK

Many Portuguese agencies were investigating the possibility of a sex marriage. “influence-peddling, active corruption, forgery of documents, money laundering,”Publico claims that Abramovich, who was granted a Portuguese passport in March and then became an EU citizen last year, committed other crimes.

A 55-year old businessman with Russian and Israeli papers was granted citizenship “in record time,”The paper claimed that the newspaper was reporting the allegations at the time. This raised the authorities’ suspicions, as most Russian Jews are Ashkenazi and don’t have Sephardic roots.

In January, Litvak insisted the investigation would prove there was no impropriety about the way his organization had processed Abramovich’s application. Reuters was told by Portuguese officials that he might lose his EU passport if this is not proven to be true.

The inquiry into Abramovich’s application began before Russia’s attack on Ukraine in late February, which saw the oligarch sanctioned by the UK. The recent events have made it more intense.

US freezes Roman Abramovich’s investments – media

Britain frozen his assets on Thursday and accused him “obtaining a benefit from or supporting the government of Russia”Because of his business endeavors “in sectors of strategic significance”To the Kremlin. Another prominent Russian businessman was also targeted. Chelsea FC’s assets have also been blocked, stalling Abramovich’s plan to sell the London club, which won the Champions League last year. A number of reports on Saturday suggest US hedge funds have also frozen the entrepreneur’s accounts.

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