A rich Russian businessman has been arrested at his multimillion-pound London residence by officers from the Nationwide Crime Company on suspicion of cash laundering.
The 58-year-old man was arrested on Thursday by officers from the NCA’s anti-kleptocracy unit and can also be suspected of conspiracy to defraud the House Workplace and conspiracy to commit perjury, the NCA stated in an announcement.
A 35-year-old man who works on the premises was arrested close by on suspicion of cash laundering and obstruction of an NCA officer after he was seen leaving the premises with a bag containing hundreds of kilos in money, in accordance with the company.
A 3rd man, aged 39, was arrested at his residence in Pimlico, London, for offences together with cash laundering and conspiracy to defraud. The NCA stated he’s the previous boyfriend of the businessman’s present associate.
Investigators interviewed all three and launched them on bail. Some 50 officers had been concerned within the operation on the businessman’s London property, and searches revealed a major sum of money in addition to plenty of digital units, the NCA stated.
The operation is one in every of plenty of probes by the company’s new combating kleptocracy cell, arrange in July to sort out corrupt elites and Kremlin-linked people laundering their property within the UK.
In an announcement on Saturday the NCA stated it had secured almost 100 “disruptions” — actions that take away or cut back a prison risk — in opposition to Putin-linked elites and enablers. These included account freezing orders on financial institution accounts held by people near sanctioned Russians.
The NCA has additionally focused high-value asset gross sales used to disguise the motion of wealth by way of public sale homes, it stated.
Graeme Biggar, director-general of the NCA, stated: “The NCA’s combating kleptocracy cell, solely established this yr, is having important success investigating potential prison exercise by oligarchs, the skilled service suppliers that help and allow them and people linked to the Russian regime.”
He added: “We are going to proceed to make use of all of the powers and techniques obtainable to us to disrupt this risk.”
The NCA stated it had assisted in freezing quite a few properties, eight yachts and 4 plane, and was working with the sanctions regulator, the Workplace of Monetary Sanctions Implementation, to make sure that different property within the UK are frozen, in addition to with international companions to focus on illicit wealth held overseas.
The replace got here after authorities figures final month revealed that Britain had frozen greater than £18bn in Russian property in response to the warfare in Ukraine.
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February, the UK authorities has frozen the property of 120 Russian entities and greater than 1,200 people linked to the Kremlin, together with Roman Abramovich, former proprietor of Chelsea Soccer Membership, and Alexei Miller, chief government of vitality firm Gazprom.