A Russian oligarch’s lakeside Swiss villa has been seized over his support of the invasion of Ukraine, according to local reports.
Senator Andrei Klishas, who amassed a fortune in nickel mining prior to joining Russia’s upper house in 2012, was previously named on an international list of sanctioned supporters of President Vladimir Putin due to his backing of the country’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Swiss authorities started legal proceedings on the 10,700-square foot luxury villa in Brione sopra Minusio overlooking scenic Lake Maggiore in early March and seized the sprawling estate this week, according to local media reports.
The Swiss government has reportedly frozen 11 properties of Russian nationals in the European nation since the beginning of the invasion in late February. Funds and assets totaling $7.5 billion have been blocked in Switzerland as of April, according to Swiss outlet Bluewin.
Klishas, 49, bought the upscale villa in 2008, but neighbors described the estate as “uninhabited” aside from gardeners and cleaning staff, the outlet reported.
Klishas had been on the Swiss sanctions list since 2014 when he publicly supported the deployment of Russian forces to Ukraine during the occupation of Crimea. He’s also banned from entering Switzerland, Swiss Italian-language newspaper Le Regione reported.
Klishas’ seized spread, which cannot be sold, features an indoor swimming pool, a garden and a magnificent view of Lake Maggiore on the south side of the Alps, according to the report.
The mayor of Brione sopra Minusio, a municipality in Switzerland, told Le Regione he had never seen Klishas at the villa.
“I can’t say anything,” Mayor Franco Gandin told the outlet according to a translation. “Not because he doesn’t want to, but because we have never seen him or met him here in the village. We knew the owner was a Russian, but we never met him.”