Dozens of Russian oligarchs face UK boot after No10 orders major crackdown on entry permits

DOZENS of Russian oligarchs could face the boot from Britain after billionaire Roman Abramovich failed to renew his visa, it has emerged.

Downing Street announced a major crackdown on entry permits for the mega rich from the rogue state is underway.

It was ordered after the Salisbury nerve agent attack on March 4, in a move by No10 to heap pressure on President Vladimir Putin.

It emerged on Sunday that Chelsea FC owner has ran into problems renewing his Type 1 investor visa.

Mr Abramovich has been struggling to persuade officials to allow him back into the UK for six weeks now in a process that used to only take three weeks, it was revealed last night.

The 51 year-old oil tycoon is believed to have been forced to account for how he came by his £9billion fortune, a lengthy process that could take many more months.

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd ordered all 700 of the special visas issued to rich Russians between 2008-2015 are looked at again to make sure they comply with new requirements that all their earnings are legit.

Last night in a second potential blow for London-based oligarchs, Boris Johnson also signalled they could face a fresh round of personal sanctions for being close to Putin.

Revealing the clampdown, the PM’s official spokesman said: “Work is under way in terms of reviewing Tier 1 investor visas.

“In 2014-15 we took action to tighten up the Tier 1 investor route, including the introduction of new powers to refuse applications where there are reasonable grounds to believe funds have been obtained unlawfully.

“We are currently taking another look at how the route operates and are undertaking further checks on investors who came to the UK through this route before the reforms were introduced.”

The number of investor visas issued fell by 84% since the tough new conditions were imposed.

The last for 40 months and are only issued if someone pledges to invest £2million into Britain.

The Foreign Secretary also refused to discuss Mr Abramovich’s individual visa case., along with the Home Office.



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But Boris said it was part of a “broader question” about what the UK can do “to crack down on people close to Putin who may have illicit or ill-gotten wealth”.

Pointing to new US sanctions recently slapped on Putin’s cronies, Mr Johnson said: “The truth is actually that I think the effect of some of those sanctions – particularly on some individuals – has been very marked and I’ve noted that”.

The Kremlin refused to discuss Mr Abramovich’s embarrassment, but branded a report drawn up by MPs about dirty Russian money in the UK was evidence of Russophobic hysteria in Britain.

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