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A “wealthy" Russian oligarch has been arrested by the National Crime Agency at his lavish London pad, the organisation has said.
The 58-year-old was arrested by the body's Combatting Kleptocracy Cell on suspicion of offences including money laundering, in a crackdown on potential criminal activity by oligarchs and their cronies.
The unnamed man was swooped on by 50 officers at his multi-million-pound London home before two other men were also arrested.
He was held on Thursday, December 1, on suspicion of offences including money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury.
A 35-year-old man, who works at the residence, was arrested nearby on suspicion of money laundering and obstruction of an officer after he was seen leaving with a bag containing thousands of pounds in cash.
A third man, 39, who is the former boyfriend of the businessman’s current partner, was arrested at his home in Pimlico, London, for offences including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.
The NCA said more than 50 officers from its Combatting Kleptocracy Cell were involved in the operation at the businessman’s pad.
A number of digital devices and a significant quantity of cash was seized following a search at the home.
All three of the men who were arrested have been released on bail.
Almost 100 “disruptions” – actions that remove or reduce a criminal threat – have been carried out against Putin-linked elites and their enablers.
This includes account freezing orders (AFOs) over accounts held by people closely linked to sanctioned Russians, according to the NCA.
“The cell has also investigated and taken discreet action against a significant number of elites who impact directly on the UK, as well as targeting less conventional routes used to disguise movements of significant wealth, such as high value asset sales via auction houses,” the NCA said.
“Internationally, the NCA’s work has assisted in the freezing of numerous properties, eight yachts and four aircraft, and it continues to work in concert with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation to ensure that other assets in the UK are frozen, as well as with global partners to target illicit wealth held abroad.”
The NCA’s Combatting Kleptocracy Cell, established in July, focuses on investigations into corrupt elites and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) laundering their assets within the UK.
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