Russian oligarch targeted: UBS raided on suspicion of money laundering

Putin's confidante Usmanov is said to have violated sanctions and laundered money on a large scale.

Russian oligarch targeted: UBS raided on suspicion of money laundering

Putin's confidante Usmanov is said to have violated sanctions and laundered money on a large scale. The villa and yacht of the Russian oligarch are already being searched in September. Raids on two branches of the major Swiss bank UBS should now provide further information.

In connection with investigations into allegations of money laundering against the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, investigators searched the headquarters and a branch of the major Swiss bank UBS in Frankfurt am Main and Munich. A spokesman for the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor's Office said that no investigation was being carried out against the bank or employees of the institute, without naming a name.

However, it is the same suspect whose property on Lake Tegernsee and whose yacht were searched in September. Investigative authorities said that the suspected Russian citizen is Usmanov.

The investigators are hoping that the raid will provide insight into Usmanov's transactions, who is said to have been a customer of the bank being searched. UBS confirmed that the searches took place at its offices. "We are fully cooperating with the authorities, as is usual in such cases," the bank said.

According to the investigators, Usmanov is said to have moved an amount in the tens of millions and to have violated the EU sanctions imposed on him because of Russia's attack on Ukraine. He is considered a confidant of the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin. His current whereabouts are unclear. According to media reports, he fled to Uzbekistan after the start of the Russian attack. Before that he lived undisturbed in Bavaria at the Tegernsee. His villa was searched in September.

About a week later, investigators searched a yacht that had previously been moved from Hamburg to Bremen. According to a report by NDR, the ship is said to have a value of 500 million euros and was the most expensive yacht in the world, at least when it was completed. Among other things, the equipment includes the largest pool ever installed on a yacht.

The raids are related to two separately ongoing proceedings in Frankfurt and Munich. The Frankfurt investigators began their proceedings after the publication of the so-called Panama Papers. Usmanow is said to have arranged several money transactions between 2017 and this year in order to disguise its origin. In the transactions, the accused is said to have used his extensive and complex network of companies and companies, mainly in so-called offshore countries. There is a suspicion that the money comes from tax evasion. The volume is probably in the tens of millions.

The Munich II public prosecutor's office is also investigating Usmanow on initial suspicion of a violation of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act. Even after being included on the European Union's list of sanctions on February 28, Usmanow is said to have had his property in Upper Bavaria guarded by a security company. By paying for these security services, he acted contrary to the ban on disposing of frozen funds. Four other suspects are accused of aiding and abetting the violation by supporting the security services.

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