Trusts holding billions of dollars of assets for Roman Abramovich were amended to transfer beneficial ownership to his children shortly before sanctions were imposed on the Russian oligarch.
OK, so he no longer owns nor benefits from those assets then. If he does, then the asset transfer hasn’t actually gone through. We’ve already got masses and masses of trust law on this point.
Sanctions experts said the sweeping reorganisation of the trusts could complicate efforts to enforce sanctions against the oligarch and potentially frustrate attempts to freeze assets previously believed to belong to the metals tycoon.
But you don’t get to freeze assets that “formerly” belonged. You get to freeze what does belong. If he sticks a tenner into some beggar’s cup you can’t freeze the £10, that belongs to the beggar. So with transferring assets. If it’s done before sanctions then he’s free to transfer as he likes. Those assets are now no longer his. What’s difficult about this?
Sanctions experts said the changes may have been a deliberate but not unlawful attempt to distance the oligarch from his wealth before sanctions were imposed.
My suspicion is that this story is being driven by greed. Sanctions! We get to confiscate the rich! And then that disappointment, well, no, not this one. So, quick, quick, change the law!