On Monday, French authorities arrested Alexei Kuzmichev, a billionaire oligarch from Russia, as part of a probe into potential money laundering, tax evasion, and breaches of global sanctions.
The French anti-corruption office (OCLCIFF) conducted initial investigations on Monday, resulting in police carrying out searches at various locations in France. This included searching Kuzmichev’s Paris property, as confirmed by a spokesperson from the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) to POLITICO.
On Monday, Kuzmichev was apprehended and was still in detention on Tuesday.
On Monday, more than 60 officers conducted raids that included a search of Kuzmichev’s villa in Saint-Tropez, as reported by French newspaper Le Monde.
Kuzmichev, an investor in Alfa Group which is a major private investment firm in Russia, was subject to sanctions by the EU along with other Alfa Group investors following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s extensive attack on Ukraine in the previous year. The EU views Kuzmichev as a highly influential figure in Russia, with strong connections to Putin and the Russian government.
In the previous year, London authorities detained Mikhail Fridman, a Russian billionaire who is also a shareholder of Alfa Group.