Germany: Banks raided in Russian money laundering probe


BERLIN– Police have raided two branches of Swiss bank UBS in Germany in connection with allegations of money laundering by a Russian businessman, German officials and media said on Tuesday.

Frankfurt prosecutor Georg Ungefuk did not identify the suspect by name, but said the raids were linked to an investigation in which officials searched a luxury yacht and two dozen properties in Germany in september.

German media have cited Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin who is under US and EU sanctions, as the target of the operation.

Ungefuk stressed that the bank was not under investigation. He said the searches were carried out to find possible evidence of money laundering by the suspect. He did not identify the bank that was raided, but German news agency dpa reported that officers entered UBS branches in Frankfurt and Munich.

“We confirm that searches by the public prosecutor are currently underway at the premises of the UBS Europe SE branches in Frankfurt and Munich,” a spokesperson for the bank told dpa. “We are cooperating fully with the authorities and ask for your understanding that we cannot comment further on the matter at this time.

Officials previously said the subject of their investigation was suspected of carrying out several transactions between 2017 and 2022 involving the use of a complex network of offshore companies to conceal the origin of funds totaling millions of euros (dollars ).

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