Russian billionaire arrested in France – Le Monde

Aleksey Kuzmichev is reportedly being held in custody over alleged tax evasion and money laundering

Russian businessman Aleksey Kuzmichev has been detained for questioning in France over alleged tax evasion and money laundering, as well as international sanctions violations, according to local media reports citing the French Financial Prosecutors’ office.

The office confirmed a report by French daily Le Monde that had claimed that Kuzmichev was taken into custody on Monday, and searches took place at his home in Paris and other locations as part of the investigation.

According to Reuters, as of Tuesday, the billionaire is still in custody but has not yet been charged.

Russia will be able to defend Kuzmichev’s rights once Paris provides detailed information about his case through diplomatic channels and if the businessman expresses his wish to be represented by Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

Kuzmitchev, who used to be one of the principal shareholders of Russia’s Alfa Bank, was sanctioned by the EU and blacklisted by the US over his alleged connections to the Russian government after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine last year. Many other wealthy Russians face similar treatment.

READ MORE: Ukraine seizes assets worth $463 million from tycoons

Amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Alfa Bank’s assets in Ukraine were seized by authorities and ended up nationalized.

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