Several properties in Germany of a Russian oligarch targeted by European sanctions were searched on Wednesday, according to sources close to the investigation, which employs the public prosecutor’s office in Munich (south), Alicher Usmanov, a close friend of Vladimir Putin.
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Around 250 officers from the Federal Office of Police (BKA) and tax police took part in the operation in several regions, including Bavaria (south), Baden-Württemberg (south-west), Schleswig-Holstein (north) and Hamburg (north). ), according to the prosecution, did not officially specify the identity of the targeted oligarch.
This is Mr. Ousmanov, citing sources close to the investigation, confirmed the information from the weekly newspaper Spiegel.
Investigators searched a total of 24 premises belonging to the oligarch and four other individuals. Spiegel.
Mr. Usmanov, who has lived most of the time in Bavaria in recent years, is neither in Germany nor in Russia: he is currently in his native Uzbekistan, according to investigators. Spiegel.
The 69-year-old Russian billionaire and former president of the International Fencing Federation was on a sanctions list imposed by the European Union on February 28 in response to Russia’s invasion over suspicions that the security agency had monitored his property. Ukraine.
“The question is whether the sanctioning law has been violated,” confirmed BKA president Holger Münch.
By paying for these surveillance services, Mr. Usmanov violated the prohibition on disposing of frozen funds. Four other people targeted by the searches are suspected of aiding and abetting the crime by providing surveillance services.
Mr. Ousmanov is also suspected of laundering up to 550 million euros in tax fraud. SpiceI.
“In the current state of the investigation, the size of the sums of money moved is several millions”, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office indicated in its part.
He was presented by a German weekly as the Russian president’s “straw man” on several business occasions.
Germany had already seized the world’s largest yacht belonging to Mr Usmanov in April.
“Dilbar”, a ship 156 meters long and worth about 600 million dollars ForbesUnder repairs at the shipyard in Hamburg from October 2021.
Mr Usmanov is ranked sixth in the list of UK’s richest people. The Sunday Times In 2021
He is one of dozens of Russian billionaires hit by Western sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine began.