Eureka News Now —
A wealthy Russian businessman has been arrested on suspicion of multiple crimes as part of a “major operation”, the UK’s National Crime Agency said in a statement on Saturday.
The 58-year-old man was arrested on Thursday at his “multi-million pound London residence by officers from the NCA’s Combatting Kleptocracy Cell” on suspicion of committing offenses including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the UK Home Office for immigration and passports – and Conspiracy to commit perjury, the agency said.
A 35-year-old man employed at the site was also arrested “nearby” on suspicion of money laundering and obstructing an officer “after he was seen leaving the address with a bag containing thousands of people contained pounds in cash”. according to statement.
A third man, aged 39, who the agency said is the former boyfriend of the businessman’s current partner, has been arrested at his home in Pimlico, London, for offenses including money laundering and conspiracy to commit fraud, according to the statement.
A person close to the investigation has given Eureka News Now more details on two of the arrested men, saying the 39-year-old man is a national of Russia, Israel and the UK and the 35-year-old man is a Polish national. The source told Eureka News Now the banknotes the 35-year-old was carrying have not yet been counted but are believed to be in the tens of thousands and in British currency.
The three people were questioned by authorities and released on bail, the statement said.
The Russian embassy in London has sent British authorities a note about the detention of a Russian citizen, the embassy said in a statement made available to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.
“The Russian embassy in London has requested clarification from the British authorities in relation to information from the National Crime Agency about the alleged detention of a Russian citizen in London,” reads RIA Novosti in the note.
“The NCA’s anti-kleptocracy cell, established just this year, has significant successes in investigating potential criminal activities by oligarchs, professional service providers who support and enable them, and individuals associated with the Russian regime,” he said Director General of the Authority, Graeme Biggar.
“We will continue to use all the forces and tactics at our disposal to stop this threat,” he added.
More than 50 officers were involved in the operation at the businessman’s London home, the statement said. “A number of digital devices and a significant amount of cash were seized following extensive searches by NCA investigators,” the statement said.
So far, the agency says it has secured nearly 100 disruptions “against Putin-aligned elites and their enablers” and taken direct action against “a significant number of elites that directly impact Britain.”
The agency also targets “less conventional avenues used to disguise movements of significant assets, such as B. Selling high-value assets through auction houses.”