Wealthy Russian businessman, 58, is arrested at his London home by the National Crime Agency’s anti-kleptocracy unit on suspicion of money laundering



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A wealthy Russian businessman has been arrested at his home in London on suspicion of money laundering.

The National Crime Agency said it had carried out a major operation to arrest the unnamed 58-year-old, who is also suspected of conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury.

He was arrested Thursday at his multimillion-pound London residence by agents from the NCA’s Combatting Kleptocracy Cell.

A 35-year-old man, working on the premises, was arrested nearby on suspicion of money laundering and obstruction of an NCA officer after he was seen leaving the address with a bag containing thousands of pounds in cash.

A third man, aged 39, the former boyfriend of the businessman’s current partner, was arrested at his home in Pimlico, London, on charges including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

More than 50 agents were involved in the operation at the businessman’s London premises.

A number of digital devices and a significant amount of cash were recovered after extensive searches by NCA investigators.

All three individuals have been interviewed by the NCA and have been released on bail.

Graeme Biggar, director general of the NCA, said: “The NCA’s Combatting Kleptocracy Cell, established just this year, is having significant success in investigating potential criminal activity by oligarchs, the professional service providers who support and enable them and those associated with have with the Russian regime.

“We will continue to use all available forces and tactics to disrupt this threat.”

This operation is the latest in a series of interventions by the NCA, which seeks to disrupt the activities of corrupt international businessmen and their facilitators.

To date, the NCA has secured nearly 100 disruptions – actions arguably eliminating or reducing a criminal threat – against elites affiliated with Vladimir Putin and their enablers.

These include a number of account freezing orders (AFOs) on accounts of individuals closely associated with sanctioned Russians.

The Cell has also investigated and taken discreet action against a significant number of elites directly affecting the UK, as well as targeting less conventional routes used to disguise movements of significant wealth, such as the sale of valuable assets through auction houses.

Internationally, the NCA’s work has helped freeze numerous properties, eight yachts and four aircraft, and it continues to work with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation to ensure other assets are frozen in the UK, as well as global partners to tackling illicit wealth abroad.

It comes after figures last month showed Britain had frozen Russian assets worth more than £18bn in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

More than 1,200 individuals, including oligarchs such as ex-Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, generals and even the head of the Orthodox Church, have been affected by asset freezes and travel bans.

In addition, airlines and banks are among the 120 companies prevented from raising money in UK financial markets. And export bans on steel and technology severely damaged Putin’s war machine, forcing the military to use Soviet-era tanks.

The UK has even imposed trade restrictions on iconic Russian goods such as caviar and vodka.

The Russian economy is crumbling due to global sanctions. GDP is expected to fall 6.2 percent this year compared to pre-invasion forecasts.