France’s finance ministry has announced sweeping new freezes of the properties of many oligarchs whose assets had previously been spared from sanctions. The delay allowed the French authorities to research the ins an outs of beneficial ownership of houses, yachts and aircraft.

Andreï Melnichenko has been identified as the owner of several luxury properties on Cap d’Antibes, which will now be frozen. Mr Melnichenko recently lost control of Sailing Yacht A after it was seized in Italy. In Monaco, he owns the Villa Bromar, which sits next to the Tourism Office.

Roman Abramavovich, the owner of Chelsea football club, is also very fond of Cap d’Antibes, where he is the owner of Château de la Croë, once the home of the Duke of Windsor for several years following his abdication. Mr Abramavovich also owns neighbouring properties he acquired to enhance his privacy. He had previously escaped sanctions in Europe at the behest of the US authorities who valued his potential as a negotiator with Putin, tow home he is very close.

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FILE PHOTO: Roman Abramavovich Reuters