In the course of investigations against a Russian for violating EU sanctions and money laundering in the millions, 24 houses and apartments were searched nationwide on Wednesday. According to circles, it is about the Russian Alisher Usmanov. One of the properties was a villa on Lake Tegernsee, which is said to belong to the oligarch loyal to the Kremlin. The Munich II public prosecutor's office did not confirm the suspect's identity, but eyewitnesses observed emergency services who searched the building in Rottach-Egern in the morning. There were other missions with a total of around 250 officers in Baden-Württemberg, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.
According to the investigators, the Russian is suspected of having spent frozen funds to pay for the guarding of his property in Upper Bavaria. There is therefore the initial suspicion of a violation of the Foreign Trade Act, according to the authority. Four other suspects are being investigated for aiding and abetting. They are said to have worked as guards and received money for it.
The Attorney General in Frankfurt and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) are also investigating money laundering. According to the authorities, the suspect Russian is said to have initiated several transactions of funds between 2017 and 2022 in order to conceal their origin. In doing so, he used his extensive and complex network of companies and corporations, mainly in so-called offshore states. Investigators think it's possible that the money came from crime, most notably tax evasion. According to current knowledge, the volume is in the tens of millions.
Luxury yacht "Dilbar" arrested
Because of the sanctions, the authorities also arrested the luxury yacht "Dilbar" in April, which is the most expensive yacht in the world with an estimated value of more than 500 million euros. The owner is said to be Usmanow's sister. On Wednesday night, the boat was moved from Hamburg to Bremen by tugs from the dry dock of a shipyard.
"This is about whether the law on sanctions was violated," said BKA President Holger Münch, explaining the searches on Wednesday. With regard to the yacht, the goal is "to generate additional evidence on the question of who these yachts are attributable to". The clarification of the question of who is the real beneficial owner here is necessary in order to ensure that the freezing of assets also has legal validity.
Officials from the federal police, the local police and the financial authorities of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria were also involved in the actions. Previously, the "Spiegel", the Bavarian Radio and the Central German Radio had reported.