German police raid Russian oligarch’s Bavarian villa

German police raid Russian oligarch’s Bavarian villa

Police have raided three south German properties linked to the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, including a villa on Tergensee Lake, around 20 kilometres from the Austrian border.

Raids on Putin ally villa in Bavaria

On Wednesday morning 250 police officers raided three properties registered to a Russian citizen in the Rottach-Egern municipality of Bavaria. Usmanov is suspected of money laundering and violating EU sanctions against Russia, brought in following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

SPIEGEL and Bayerischer Rundfunk have identified Usmanov as an ally of Vladimir Putin, meaning that he is currently banned from engaging in economic activity in Germany. The state prosecutor of Munich said that the Russian citizen had been continuing to pay a security firm to surveil his Bavarian home, putting him in breach of EU sanctions.

On Wednesday a police operation raided further properties in three more federal statesBaden-Württemberg, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.

Who is Russian oligarch Alischer Usmanov?

According to The Guardian, Usmanov made his fortune in mining and sport, while also having been an early investor in Facebook. A former shareholder of English football team Arsenal, Usmanov is said to have once been the UK’s richest person.

Between 2014 and 2022, the oligarch was living in the affluent Tergensee municipality. It is believed that, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Usmanov relocated to Uzbekistan. 

Back in April 2022, following a financial investigation into the ownership of his 600-million-dollar Dilbar superyacht, German federal police seized the vessel, exposing it as a “web of offshore concealment”, according to The Guardian.

A spokesperson for Usmanov is reported to have said, “Alisher Usmanov is a lawful and diligent taxpayer and has always paid his taxes correctly and on time. The majority of Mr Usmanov’s income (up to 75 percent) has either been donated to charity or gone on taxes. [...] Any allegations that Mr Usmanov used shell companies to receive dividends are patently false and defamatory.”

The spokesperson further remarked that Usmanov had paid tax in Russia since 2014, which made him exempt from paying income taxes in Germany according to a double taxation treaty, and that properties linked to his name were in family trusts, of which he was not a beneficiary.

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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