September 24, 2022

Police in Germany raided properties linked to Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, a former shareholder in Arsenal football club who also had links to Everton.

The state prosecutor in Munich said extensive raids were carried out at the residence of a Russian national and four other suspects. Media reports claim that other properties belonging to Usmanov throughout Germany have also been searched.

Authorities searched 24 properties in four states, including Bavaria, with 250 police involved in the operation, the prosecutor said.

German broadcasters BR and MDR reported that one of the locations targeted was Usmanov’s villa on Lake Tegernsee in the southern state.

The prosecutor said the Russian national is suspected of having commissioned a security company to monitor assets in Upper Bavaria with financial ties to him even after he was added to the European Union’s sanctions list.

His payment to that security firm is believed to have violated the ban on using frozen funds, the statement said.

Usmanov, once described as one of Putin’s “favourite oligarchs”, was placed on the European Union’s sanctions list following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

He was a shareholder of Arsenal from 2007 to 2018, when he sold his 30 percent stake in the club. Usmanov also has links with another Premier League side, Everton.

His holding company, USM, struck a five-year deal with the Merseyside outfit in 2017 for naming rights to the club’s training ground.

That deal was later suspended after the Russian invasion.

According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $14.6 billion (£12.7 billion).

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