Was Mikhail Watford killed? Ukrainian oligarch found dead in UK mansion sparking mystery
A Ukrainian oligarch was found dead in his British mansion earlier this week, police recently revealed. 66-year-old Mikhail Watford was pronounced dead after authoroties arrived at his home in Surrey. Authorities said that his death was 'unexplained' but also clarified that it did not appear suspicious.
A Surrey Police spokesman said, "We were called around midday on February 28 following reports of the discovery of a man's body. An ambulance was called but the man, who was in his 60s, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation into the circumstances of the death is under way but it is not believed there any suspicious circumstances."
Watford, a father of three, made his fortune in oil and gas after the demise of the Soviet Union. He was found hanging in his garage. Even though authorities have said that his death is not suspicious, his associates have claimed that the timing of his death raises questions considering it came after the attempted murder of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal on UK soil.
“His state of mind might have been affected by the situation in the Ukraine,” New York Post quoted a family friend as saying. “The timing of his death and the invasion of Ukraine was surely not coincidental.” "After all the other suspicious deaths of Russian nationals and associates in the UK, it is only natural there will be speculation about his death," said another associate, who has not been named.
Who was Mikhail Watford?
Watford, a popular business tycoon, was born on May 31, 1972. He was reportedly born as Mikhail Tolstosheya but changed his last name to Watford after he moved to London.
Watford, who was born when Ukraine was under the Soviet Union, holds the nationality of Russian. He has two childtren with his estranged wife Jane -- Michelle and Alexander. He has another son, Michael, with his first wife.
In the UK, Watford snapped up homes in Eaton Square in Belgravia, central London, an £18 million mansion in Virginia Water, Surrey, and also a series of properties on the Wentworth estate. The tycoon said in 2015 that it was very difficult to find a 'superyacht-perfect' mansion outside of London. Watford, failing to find a house to meet the standards he was expecting, commissioned his own 9,640 sq ft property.
He claimed that the wrought-iron gates were made by the company that supplied Kensington Palace. He also boasted that the £56,000 driveway was modeled on the circular stone piazzas outside King's College, Cambridge. "I want perfection, nothing less," he had said. "In London – Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia – it's possible to find top quality. But outside London, no. Not even near. It wouldn't be right for me to say the houses are cheap. I don't want to be rude, but they're wrong style, wrong finishes, not high-end quality. Not for us."