German officials have searched UBS bank branches in Frankfurt and Munich as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov. The suspected money laundering is in the scale of double-digit million euros, a spokesman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said.
Usmanov’s spokesperson categorically rejected the allegations, describing them as unfounded, false and defamatory.
“The businessman is a law-abiding and conscientious taxpayer who has paid taxes in Russia,” the spokesperson said. He declined to comment on whether the searches were related to Usmanov.
Swiss bank UBS confirmed that its two branches were the subject of the searches and that it was cooperating with authorities.
“The subject of the investigation into suspected money laundering is a businessman from the Russian Federation. The investigations are not directed against the banking institution concerned or its employees. The search measures are taking place in the same preliminary proceedings in which searches have already been carried out at the defendant’s residence in the district of Miesbach and at his yacht,” a spokesman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said.
German police investigating money-laundering allegations against Usmanov have searched a luxury motor yacht in northern Germany. Two properties in Miesbach, southern Bavaria, have also been searched as part of the investigation.
The prosecutor’s office said that the accused is suspected of arranging several transactions in the years 2017 to 2022 in order to disguise their origin. According to Forbes, Usmanov, who is active across a range of business sectors and has a net worth of USD 14.6 billion, is at the centre of two separate investigations into his finances in Germany.
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