UK arrests wealthy Russian businessman on money laundering charges

Arrest took place at multi-million pound property in London

The UK's National Crime Agency has arrested a Russian businessman on suspicion of criminal activity. Photo: NCA
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British detectives have arrested a wealthy Russian businessman at a multi-million pound property in London on suspicion of money laundering.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said on Saturday that the arrest was part of the UK's crackdown against corrupt oligarchs.

The unidentified man, 58, was among three arrested by officers from the Combatting Kleptocracy Cell (CKC) on Thursday at a “multi-million pound residence” in London, the NCA said.

He was detained on suspicion of money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury, the NCA said.

Another man, 35, was arrested at the premises after he was seen leaving with a bag, which contained thousands of pounds in cash.

A former boyfriend, 39, of the businessman's partner was also arrested at the property, police said.

All three have been released on police bail.

NCA Director General Graeme Biggar said the CKC, which was set up earlier this year to tackle attempts to evade sanctions and to disrupt corrupt elites, was having a significant impact on oligarchs' criminal activity, the professional service providers that supported them and those linked to the Russian government.

“We will continue to use all the powers and tactics available to us to disrupt this threat,” he said.

The NCA said it had so far secured nearly 100 “disruptions” — described as actions that demonstrably removed or reduced a criminal threat — against elites linked to Russia's President Vladimir Putin and their enablers.

These included a number of asset-freezing orders on accounts held by people linked to sanctioned Russians.

Britain has so far sanctioned more than 1,200 individuals and over 120 entities after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Updated: December 03, 2022, 1:56 PM