The UK has slapped sanctions on people and companies who have helped Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov shield their wealth from sanctions prompted by the Ukraine war.
Former Chelsea owner Abramovich, and Usmanov, a close ally of Vladimir Putin and a former shareholder in Arsenal FC, are subject to sanctions imposed by the Government as it sought to freeze the assets of individuals with ties to the Russian president following his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Wednesday announced new penalties targeting those who knowingly assisted the oligarchs as they scrambled to hide their assets in complex financial networks.
The “financial fixers” have been hit with asset freezes, travel bans, transport sanctions and trust services sanctions, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said.
Among them are Cypriots Demetris Ioannides, who set up murky offshore structures used by Abramovich to stow away more than £760 million before being sanctioned, and lawyer Christodoulos Vassiliades, who helped Usmanov with trusts and offshore companies.
Companies linked to Usmanov, including USM, Curzon Square Limited, and Hanley Limited, have also been sanctioned.
Mr Cleverly said: “We are closing the net on the Russian elite and those who try to help them hide their money for war.
“There’s no place to hide. We will keep cutting them off from assets they thought were successfully hidden.
“Together with our international partners the UK will continue to crack down on those who are supporting the war. We won’t stop until Putin does.”
The package also hit family members used as proxies to conceal the assets of other Russian oligarchs, including Suleiman Kerimov and Vladimir Evtushenkov.