Leaders of the Jewish community in Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto, were stopped at the airport there as they were about to fly to Israel last Thursday.
The rabbi had to give up his passport so he could not leave Portugal.
Roman Abramovich is one of a group of Russian oligarchs who have been sanctioned by Britain.
The Premier League board forbade him from holding a board position at the club.
Abramovich has relinquished control of Chelsea, and he has announced that a sale is in progress.
Prosecutors in Portugal have started an investigation into how the Chelsea owner obtained his citizenship. With such a passport, oligarchs have been able to move freely between EU countries.
Abramovich’s Portuguese citizenship was being investigated even before the Russian invasion, but has escalated after the war in Ukraine broke out, the Times of Israel wrote.
Certain Jews can acquire citizenship
Israeli newspapers wrote that some Jews had the right to Portuguese citizenship.
Roman Abramovich is a Jew and already has Russian and Israeli citizenship.
The reason why Jews are in a special position is a law from 2013. It is said that descendants of the tens of thousands of Jews who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in the 17th century, can return there.
The law must specify that it applies to the descendants of Sephardic Jews.
In Russia, apparently not Sephardic Jews, but Ashkenazi Jews, Israeli newspapers write.
Portuguese authorities have left most of the background checks of Jews seeking Portuguese passports to two organizations.
One of them is the Porto Jewish Community, led by Rabbi Daniel Litvak.
He is now being investigated for possible money laundering, fraud and corruption, writes the BBC.
Police suspect that Jews, including the Chelsea owner, have paid money under the table to get passports to an EU country.
Police are said to have confiscated the rabbi’s passport which police are investigating.
Relations with Putin
Abramovich is said to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In 1999, he was elected to the Russian National Assembly, the Duma. For eight years he was governor of the Chukotka region, from 2000 to 2008.
Abramovich has owned Chelsea since 2003.
The sanctions have serious consequences for the famous English club.
Chelsea cannot buy players, extend contracts or sell game tickets. In addition, several of the club’s main sponsors have resigned, at least until further notice.
Jersey sponsor Three had already done so before the weekend, and on Saturday Hyundai followed.
By spitting out billions of kroner, Roman Abramovich has made the club one of the biggest and most successful football clubs in the world.
“Hardcore zombie fan. Incurable internet advocate. Subtly charming problem solver. Freelance twitter ninja.”