A Russian businessman has been arrested in London on suspicion of money laundering, as part of British authorities’ efforts to dismantle potential criminal activities by oligarchs with ties to Vladimir Putin.
Without identifying the suspect, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said today that more than 50 agents from a specialist unit searched the 58-year-old businessman’s London mansion on Thursday, having seized several devices. electronics and a “significant” amount of cash.
The detainee is suspected of money laundering, conspiracy to commit perjury and conspiracy to defraud the British Home Office, which is responsible for immigration and security.
A 35-year-old man who worked at the suspect’s residence was also arrested after being seen leaving the property with a bag containing thousands of pounds, the agency said.
A third 39-year-old man was arrested at his home in west London, also on suspicion of money laundering.
“The NCA’s anti-kleptocracy unit, just established this year, is having significant success investigating potential criminal activities by oligarchs” who collaborate and support the Russian regime, the agency’s director general said in a statement. Briton, Graeme Biggar.
According to the official, the NCA will continue to use all available resources and tactics to “dismantle this threat”.
The arrest comes as British authorities have been working with the United States, European Union and other countries to strangle the flow of money moved by oligarchs close to Putin after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The United Kingdom has imposed sanctions on more than 1,300 people and entities, including 120 Russian oligarchs, whose assets are estimated to represent more than 150 billion euros, according to the British Government.
In October, the NCA detained another London-based businessman suspected of helping a Russian oligarch targeted by sanctions for disguising ownership of UK assets.