Four arrested after entering Russian oligarch’s London mansion

After about 17 hours of being in the property, the four were taken away for squatting

People sitting on the balcony of a west London mansion belonging to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, with a banner reading, 'This property has been liberated'. EPA

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Four people have been arrested after a protest on the balcony of a Russian oligarch’s London mansion.

The Metropolitan Police said a group had come down after about 17 hours before being arrested on suspicion of squatting in a residential building.

People gained access to the property in Belgrave Square, west London – which belongs to Oleg Deripaska – about 1am on Monday.

“The four have been arrested under section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012," the Metropolitan Police said. "A police presence will continue at the scene.

“Police were called shortly after 1am on Monday, March 14, to a residential property in Belgrave Square.

"It was reported that a number of people had gained entry to the building and hung banners from upstairs windows.

“Officers completed a search of the property and are satisfied there are no people left inside. Four others have been arrested on suspicion of trespassing after trying to breach the cordon.

“During the evening of March 14, four people were arrested after they attempted to gain access to the row of buildings where the protest was ongoing in Belgrave Square.

"They have been arrested under Section 9 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. All those arrested remain in custody.”

The street has been cordoned off with at least 10 police vehicles and more than 30 officers responding to the incident.

Officers wearing harnesses first tried to use a ladder to gain access to the balcony, but after the squatters sat in the way to obstruct them, a crane was moved in.

Police wearing riot gear used a drill to break open the front door and enter the house.

Hanging from the building were a Ukrainian flag and a sign that read, “This property has been liberated”.

Mr Deripaska has been described as “a prominent Russian businessman and pro-Kremlin oligarch” who is “closely associated” with the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin.

His wealth is estimated to be £2.3 billion ($2.99bn) and he has a multimillion-pound property portfolio in the UK, which includes the house at 5 Belgrave Square, according to a 2007 High Court judgment.

Records indicate it has not changed hands since and is owned by a company in the British Virgin Islands.

Updated: March 15, 2022, 1:10 AM
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