Have to admit I wouldn’t do this

Squatters have taken over a £15 million mansion owned by a Russian billionaire in one of Britain’s most expensive and exclusive streets.

The group has allegedly been in the Grade II listed building in Eaton Square for three days.

The property, which was built in the early 1820s, has believed to have been empty ever since Russian oligarch Andrey Goncharenko bought it in 2014.

You never know how much an oligarch has been tamed. Quite how much that important distinction between here’s how we do things at home and here’s how they do things there has sunk home.

On the one hand, Sberbank, close to the heart of the Putinist state. On the other, came up through Troika Dialog, so maybe Bernie Sucher trained him well.

Just not a risk I would take really.

24 comments on “Have to admit I wouldn’t do this

  1. On the plus side if they start to glow in the dark, it will save them lighting bills.

    On the other plus side, if some other former Spetnaz chaps do them over, well, that is a good first start on that Ecksian purge we need so much.

    The question worth asking is whether Andrey Goncharenko is divorced. Consider for instance Roman Abramovich.

    n 15 October 2006, the News of the World reported that Irina had hired two top UK divorce lawyers, following reports of Abramovich’s close relationship with the then 25-year-old Dasha Zhukova, the former girlfriend of the tennis player Marat Safin and daughter of a prominent Russian oligarch, Alexander Radkin Zhukov. It was speculated that a future divorce settlement (amounting to a conjectured £5.5 billion (€6.5 billion)) might be the highest ever on record. The Abramoviches replied that neither had consulted attorneys at that point.[73][74] However, they later divorced in Russia in March 2007, with a settlement reported as being US$300 million (€213 million).

    So what would persuade the former Miss Lysova to accept 213 million instead of 5.5 billion? Because Russian girls are not known for being all about the Benjamins.

  2. Personally I wouldn’t do it anyway.
    But then I’m a law abiding citizen with respect for other people’s property.
    There is also the thought in the back of the mind that you never know who people are. Russian or not, you could be dealing with a complete psychopath. The “best” ones appear to be normal, helpful people – see Shipman.
    (Not sure if best is the right word…)

  3. “in one of Britain’s most expensive and exclusive streets.”

    Not very exclusive if they don’t exclude the squatters.

    Or is “exclusive” now just a synonym for posh?

  4. synp – “Or is “exclusive” now just a synonym for posh?”

    Anywhere noted for Russian oligarchs is neither exclusive or posh.

    Edward Lud – ““Benjamins”, SMFS?”

    I got to maintain my street cred as, apparently, the leading rap expert on this blog. Not a title I hold with pride.

    Besides, holding out for the Matthews just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Indeed in a British context people might misunderstand.

  5. I agree. Russian oligarchs are often hands-on thugs themselves, and on the occasion when they’re not they think little of getting their extremely hands-on thugs to do their dirty work for them. One doesn’t get to be an oligarch in Russia by letting people take your property and being squeamish about taking it back.

  6. Anecdote: an English pal of mine worked security for years for Roman Abramovich. He’s an ex para, moved into security work after being a mercenary in Iraq. He makes money doing semi-legal security work, usually where the legal methods have failed. He got called by the manager of a building site in London which was constantly being robbed of its equipment. They’d hired a security firm but armed pikies would simply threaten him with serious harm then help themselves. The police weren’t interested. My pal got hold of 5 or 6 robust chaps and waited in the dark with shotguns – illegal of course. The pikies showed up, my pal introduced himself and told them to find an easier site to rob. The pikies, being reasonably chaps not wanting to lose a limb or worse in a fight with people who have committed out-and-out murder in Iraq, left and didn’t come back. Under the surface, Britain isn’t as civilised as we think.

  7. They’d hired a security firm but armed pikies would simply threaten him with serious harm then help themselves.

    Meaning, they’d threaten the security guard.

  8. Sounds like another of TN’s teenage fantasies to me. The police weren’t interested in serial armed robbery? Sure… And even if that was true, you’d contact another police force and complain, not hire your own thugs.

  9. jgh>

    Yes, very much so. That’s how the system for complaints was deliberately set up. Want to complain about the Met? Call e.g. Lincolnshire police, make your complaint to them, some chap who wants a free trip to London will come down and investigate.

  10. I love Dave’s comments on mine. They start so well:

    Sounds like another of TN’s teenage fantasies to me.

    Although there is a distinct lack of sheep.

    The police weren’t interested in serial armed robbery?

    Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Maybe Dave is onto something…

    And even if that was true, you’d contact another police force and complain, not hire your own thugs.

    Aaaand the Dave we all know and love is back. Sure, when the Met doesn’t do anything about your site being robbed you can simply call the Dyfed Powys police and they’ll be around in a jiffy! Nothing beats competition between police forces to drive up customer satisfaction!

  11. Operator: Hello. Which emergency service?
    Tim N: Police please. Some pikeys have broken into my yard.
    Operator: certainly, I will put you through to the Met police now
    Tim N: NO! They are fucking rubbish. Can I have South Wales police please?
    Operator: Well, that isn’t how it works…
    Tim N: I KNOW MY FUCKING RIGHTS!!!

  12. Some pikeys have set up shop on waste ground next to Harrow Crown Court. theyve been there only a few days, but every imaginable cliche is in view: a dog yipping, an apparently pointless bonfire, random piles of junk, vardas (beat that, SMFS) randomly parked, hoodied men standing around wondering whether to fight each other or collaborate to defraud and immiserate the rest of us. It screams opportunistic squalor. A few degrees warmer and the kids will be out, rummaging, in their nappies.

    Of course the point is, if ‘travelling’ thus we’re so important to them, rather than pillaging and scavenging the land and neighbourhoods across which they roam, there are plenty of civilised campsites which would accommodate them.

  13. Two or three tasty lads in through the back door at 3 am with MP5SDs and job sorted. The grey matter would soak into the parquet and make a pong so you’d need the cleaners round fairly sharpish.

  14. What EL said. Local authorities are obliged to provide sites for travellers. If they don’t want to use these or a commercial alternative, then travellers should be treated very firmly – until they learn to behave, or go to another country. Anarchic nomads are neither necessary or desirable in this densely populated island.

  15. Apologies for posting on an old thread, but for posterity, your fears were well-founded. As reported in The Times:

    Squatters attacked by masked thugs

    Squatters occupying a London mansion owned by a Russian billionaire fear they were targeted by “hired” masked thugs who smashed windows and tried to force their way into the property.

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