| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

German police investigating Russian billionaire Usmanov search yacht

German police have searched a motor yacht in northern Germany as part of their investigation into allegations that Russian billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov engaged in money laundering, according to prosecutors.

The yacht’s owner, a 69-year-old Russian businessman, was not named by the prosecution but was said to be the subject of the same inquiry as last week, when police searched a lakeside villa belonging to Usmanov.

Usmanov’s representatives were not immediately available to comment on Tuesday’s yacht raid. In a statement on Monday, his press office rejected the allegations against him as “baseless and defamatory”.

He is on an EU sanctions list freezing his assets and banning him from travel in the bloc because of links to the Russian state.

Prosecutors said the yacht’s owner was suspected of having carried out millions of euros worth of financial transactions between 2017 and 2022 to conceal the origin of funds originating from criminal offences, in particular tax evasion.

Usmanov, who is active across a range of business sectors and has a net worth of $14.6 billion, according to Forbes, is at the centre of two separate investigations into his finances in Germany.

The NDR broadcaster reported last week that a 156-metre-long yacht, the Dilbar, which authorities say belongs to Usmanov’s sister and is also subject to sanctions, was towed from the port of Hamburg to Bremen overnight because the shipyard where it had been moored needed space.

The federal criminal police office has said it is worth half a billion euros.

  • Reuters