German police raid estate of Putin-linked oligarch Alisher Usmanov

Russian-Uzbek billionaire accused of money laundering and breaking sanctions

Houses on Tegernsee lake, in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany, among them at least three owned by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov (first row, right, and first row, sixth from right). Getty.
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German police raided the lakeside residence of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov on Wednesday, along with several other properties, as part of investigations into suspected sanctions breaches and money laundering.

The searches focused on two properties belonging to a Russian businessman, 69, in the Bavarian district of Miesbach, the BKA federal police said.

Police did not identify the suspect. However, sources close to the investigation have revealed him to be Mr Usmanov, a Uzbek-born ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and former president of the International Fencing Federation.

Mr Usmanov, who is active across a broad range of business sectors and has a net worth of $14.6 billion, Forbes has reported, is at the centre of two separate investigations into his finances in Germany.

The prosecutor general's office in Frankfurt said the raids had focused on 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, the prosecutor said.

Initial reports claim investigators are pursuing allegations of tax evasion and money laundering. Alisher Usmanov owns a total of four villas on lake Tegernsee. Getty.

The Munich state prosecutor said earlier on Wednesday that comprehensive raids were carried out at the residence of a Russian citizen and four other suspects, without identifying Mr Usmanov.

The Russian national is suspected of having recruited a security firm to observe properties in Upper Bavaria financially linked to him. This was even after he was added to the EU sanctions list, the prosecutor said.

His payment of the 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 Mr Usmanov, who was added to the Western sanctions list after Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Updated: September 21, 2022, 2:14 PM