German police storm estate of Russian oligarch Usmanov

  • World
  • Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Russian businessman and founder of USM Holdings Alisher Usmanov during an awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia November 27, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS/File Photo

ROTTACH-EGERN, Germany (Reuters) - German police raided the lakeside residence of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov in the southern state of Bavaria on Wednesday, along with several other properties, as part of investigations into suspected sanctions violations and money-laundering.

Authorities were searching Usmanov's house in Rottach-Egern on the shores of the Tegernsee, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The 69-year-old, who is active across a broad range of business sectors and has a net worth of $14.6 billion, according to Forbes, is at the centre of two separate investigations into his finances in Germany.

A statement from the prosecutor general's office in Frankfurt said raids had targeted a Russian businessman suspected of having used his "extensive and complex network of companies and corporations" to disguise the origins of several transactions of funds between 2017 and 2022.

The transactions are believed to have amounted to a multi-digit-million-euro sum, said the statement, which did not name Usmanov.

The Munich state prosecutor said earlier Wednesday that comprehensive raids were carried outat the residence of a Russian citizen and four other suspects, also without naming Usmanov.

The Russian national is suspected of having tasked a security company with observing properties in Upper Bavaria financially linked to him even after he was added to the European Union sanctions list, the prosecutor's statement said.

His payment of that security firm is thought to have flouted a ban on the use of frozen funds, it added.

German broadcasters BR and MDR first reported the tax evasion raids against Usmanov, who was added to the Western sanctions list in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Usmanov's representatives did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the raids.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Alexander Huebner, Writing by Rachel More; Editing by Paul Carrel, Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Mark Heinrich)

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