PORTUGESE police have arrested a rabbi they believe helped Russian financier Roman Abramovich gain Portuguese citizenship last year.
Officers visited Rabbi Daniel Litvak as part of an ongoing investigation into how the Chelsea owner added a new passport to his Russian and Israeli passports.
But the Portuguese criminal investigation agency PJ is looking into the legality of Abramovich’s new passport.
In a statement, Porto’s Jewish community denied any wrongdoing and said it was the target of a “smear campaign”.
It says that the Lithuanian rabbi oversees the department that certifies Portuguese citizenship on the basis of criteria “which have been accepted by successive governments”.
Abramovich was issued a passport in 2021, based on Portuguese law allowing naturalization for descendants of Sephardic Jews.
The applicant’s genealogy is checked by experts at one of the Portuguese Jewish centers in Lisbon or Porto.
The center of Porto, where Lithuania is a cleric, is responsible for Abramovich’s process.
Prosecutors opened an investigation in January, with sources claiming this week that Abramovich could be stripped of his citizenship depending on the outcome of the investigation.
In a joint statement, PJ and prosecutors said a suspect was arrested Thursday but did not name the rabbi.
They added that the suspect will appear before a judge and confirm that they raided homes, law offices and other spaces on Friday as part of an investigation into charges such as money laundering, corruption and falsification of documents.
According to Publico, Lithuania was preparing to go to Israel when he was detained.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4879204/portuguese-rabbi-helped-roman-abramovich-arrested-citizenship/ Portuguese rabbi who ‘helped Roman Abramovich get citizenship’ arrested in Porto