The anonymous man is charged with money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the Home Office
UK National Crime Agency (NCA) officers arrested “a wealthy Russian businessman” at his London home, the agency said on Saturday. The raid was carried out by a task force created specifically to target Russian-linked suspects.
More than 50 NCA officers had raided the 58-year-old man “multi-million pound residence” Thursday, law enforcement said. He was apprehended and charged with money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury, and was released on bail, according to a statement from the agency.
A 35-year-old man employed at the residence has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and obstruction, with the NCA saying he was seen leaving the property “with a bag containing thousands of pounds in cash.”
A third man, who is described as the ex-boyfriend of the businessman’s current partner, was arrested at his home in London’s Pimlico area and charged with money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.
While the man’s age coincides with that of Alfa Group co-founder and London resident Mikhail Fridman, Alfa Bank’s press office told Russian newspaper Kommersant that “Fridman is at home, not under arrest”, and the organization does not know “Who is this news about?”
The raid was carried out by officers from the NCA’s ‘Kleptocracy Cell’, a unit created by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in February to target Russians allegedly evading British sanctions on Moscow. The unit is tasked with freezing the assets of sanctioned Russian businessmen and seizing money and assets sent or received by them in defiance of the sanctions.
While the NCA describes those targeted as “corrupt,” there is no evidence that any of the assets seized were considered illicit before the UK government sanctioned over 1,300 Russian individuals and entities in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.
The NCA has carried out nearly 100 so-called “disturbances” against Russian “the elites and their catalysts” nowadays.
The Russian Embassy in London demanded that the British authorities immediately explain the reasons and circumstances of the arrest of the Russian businessman.
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