Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich becomes Israeli citizen

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An Israeli immigration absorption ministry spokeswoman declined to comment on the report citing individual privacy, but a spokeswoman for the Population Administration that oversees border control confirmed Abramovich was in Israel.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been granted Israeli citizenship as he remains blocked from returning to London, .

Abramovich, now Russia's richest man with a fortune of $13.7 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, ran into delays in renewing his United Kingdom visa and is unable to travel to Britain at the moment, people familiar with the situation said on May 21. The Home Office has declined to comment on his case.

Israel grants citizenship to any Jew who wishes to move there, and passports can be issued immediately.

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The story was headlined: 'Roman Abramovich has become a new immigrant to Israel'.

As a new citizen, "Abramovich is exempt from taxes in Israel on income earned overseas for ten years, and need not declare the sources of that income for the same period", the Times of Israel says.

Britain has accused Russian Federation of exposing them to a nerve agent.

Mr Abramovich has been a regular visitor to Israel and Ynet said he had bought a property that was formerly a hotel.

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The UK said this month it would review long-term visas of wealthy Russians after the poisoning.

The Chelsea owner, who was previously a resident of Jersey in the Channel Islands, will be eligible for 10 years of tax-free status in Israel, during which time he will not need to declare the source of his income.

Israel passport holders are allowed to enter Britain without a visa for short stays.

Having amassed a huge and controversial personal fortune through dealings in the Russian oil industry in the 1990s, Abramovich acquired Chelsea in June 2003 and has invested well in excess of £1 billion in the club, bankrolling a 15-year run that has brought 15 major trophies to Stamford Bridge.

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