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German police raid villa linked to Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov

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theguardian.com

German police have raided several properties understood to belong to the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, including his villa on Tegernsee lake in the southern state of Bavaria, on suspicion of money laundering and violations of EU sanctions.A special unit consisting of over 250 police officers on Wednesday morning searched properties registered to a Russian citizen at three addresses in the municipality of Rottach-Egern in Upper Bavaria, the Munich state prosecutor said in a statement.

Reports by the news magazine Der Spiegel and the broadcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk identified the individual as Usmanov, an ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.In the operation, which was still ongoing on Wednesday morning, properties were also raided in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg, and Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany.Usmanov, an early Facebook investor who made his fortune in mining and sports, has been hit with sanctions and asset freezes by the European Union, the US, the UK and Switzerland over Russia’s war in Ukraine.The Munich state prosecutor said a Russian citizen on the EU sanctions list of 28 February had violated Germany’s foreign trade law by continuing to pay a security firm to watch over his properties in Upper Bavaria, thus violating the asset freeze.The public prosecutor in Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt, which was also involved in the raids, told the Guardian it was investigating the same individual on suspicion of money laundering, over suspicious transactions linked to offshore accounts.The 71-year-old Russian citizen, the Frankfurt prosecutor said in a statement, was suspected of making financial transactions of several million euros between 2017 and 2022 with the

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