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ST. HELIER, Jersey—Authorities in this offshore financial center in the English Channel are conducting a wide-ranging preliminary probe into Roman Abramovich’s wealth held on the island, including whether a business partner helped the billionaire try to evade U.K. sanctions, according to people familiar with the situation.
The probe, which hasn’t been previously reported, is also looking at how Mr. Abramovich acquired oil companies in the 1990s that made him wealthy in post-Soviet Russia, according to these people. Jersey, where Mr. Abramovich has parked a large chunk of his assets in recent years, is trying to determine whether any of that money was made illicitly or if trustees of his wealth didn’t follow regulations, these people said. The probe is still at an early stage, and hasn’t reached the level of being a formal investigation, they said. Authorities haven’t accused anyone of wrongdoing.