Hundreds of police across Germany raid properties linked to Putin ally Usmanov

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Hundreds of police have raided 24 properties across Germany linked to Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, in connection with alleged breaches of sanctions and money laundering rules, officials said Wednesday.

Prosecutors in Frankfurt and Munich said in separate statements that some 250 state and federal police were searching properties in Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.

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The statement by Frankfurt prosecutors named the suspect only as a Russian businessman.

However, German weekly Der Spiegel, which first reported the raids, named him as Usmanov.

Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov casts his ballot at a polling station during Russia's presidential election in Moscow on March 18, 2018. (AFP)
Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov casts his ballot at a polling station during Russia's presidential election in Moscow on March 18, 2018. (AFP)

Two officials involved in the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so publicly, confirmed his identity to The Associated Press.

Usmanov is subject to sanctions in the United States and the European Union.

Frankfurt prosecutors said the subject of their investigation is alleged to have conducted several transactions between 2017 and 2022 using a complex network of offshore companies to hide the origin of the payments, which amounted to millions of euros.

Prosecutors suspect that the sums transferred resulted from crimes, in particular tax evasion.

Munich prosecutors said in a statement that their investigation centered on allegations of payments being made to security companies guarding the properties, in breach of sanctions rules.

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