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21 Sep, 2022 14:20

German police raid properties allegedly linked to Russian billionaire

Prosecutors in Munich and Frankfurt are reportedly investigating Alisher Usmanov for sanctions violations
German police raid properties allegedly linked to Russian billionaire

German authorities are carrying out nationwide raids of properties allegedly linked to businessman Alisher Usmanov, as part of a probe against the sanctioned Russian billionaire.

Two dozen sites in Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg belonging to a Russian citizen who is on the sanctions list are being searched, according to a statement released by Munich prosecutors on Wednesday.

While the statement discloses no names, Bloomberg reports that the target is Usmanov, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. 

According to the statement, Usmanov is being investigated for sanctions violation because he allegedly kept and paid security staff to look after a luxury compound in Bavaria. The staffers are also being investigated.

According to a separate statement released by the prosecutor general’s office in Frankfurt, raids there targeted a Russian businessman suspected of having used his “extensive and complex network of companies and corporations” to disguise the origins of several transactions between 2017 and 2022. 

The statement, which doesn’t name Usmanov, said the transactions amounted to a multi-million-euro sum.

In March, German authorities seized Usmanov’s superyacht Dilbar, one of the world’s largest and most expensive private sailboats, after determining it was legally owned by his sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova, targeted by Western sanctions over Ukraine. In April, the businessman appealed the sanctions at the EU General Court.

The Uzbek-born businessman holds a major stake in USM, a Russian investment group with holdings in Metalloinvest, one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, and telecommunications company MegaFon. Usmanov’s net worth totals $14.6 billion, according to Forbes. Earlier this year, the 69-year-old was added to the UK, EU and US sanction lists.

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