GERMAN cops have raided dozens of houses linked to Putin's crony Alisher Usamanov amid a money laundering probe.
Russian oligarch Usamanov, who enjoyed close ties to Premier League club Everton, is at the centre of two separate investigations into his finances in Germany.
Prosecutors in Frankfurt and Munich said raids had targeted a Russian businessman suspected of having used his "extensive and complex network of companies and corporations" to disguise the origins of several transactions of funds between 2017 and 2022.
The transactions are believed to have amounted to a "multi-digit-million-euro sum", a statement said.
The Munich state prosecutor said raids were carried out at the residence of a Russian citizen and four other suspects.
Authorities named the suspect only as a Russian businessman, but two officials involved in the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Usamanov's identity to The Associated Press.
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The billionaire is suspected of having tasked a security company with observing properties in Upper Bavaria financially linked to him even after he was added to the European Union sanctions list, the prosecutor's statement said.
His payment to that security firm is thought to have flouted a ban on the use of frozen funds, it added.
About 250 police officers have now raided 24 properties across Germany in connection with alleged breaches of sanctions and money laundering rules.
This included Usmanov's lakeside house in Rottach-Egern on the shores of the Tegernsee.
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Usamanov, who is active across a broad range of business sectors and has a net worth of £12.8billion, according to Forbes, is subject to sanctions in the United States and the European Union.
Munich prosecutors said their investigation centered on allegations of payments being made to security companies guarding the properties, in breach of sanctions rules.
It comes after Usmanov temporarily dodged sanctions by moving billions of pounds worth of assets into other’s names – including his £455million superyacht.
Luxury UK homes and aircraft owned by the mining tycoon had also been put into legal trusts “long ago”, aides crowed in March.
Uzbek-based Usmanov, who says he is “proud” to know Putin, was formally sanctioned by the UK on March 3.
It was hoped tough measures would hit his huge wealth, built up over decades in British society.
His vast UK property portfolio includes a £73m mansion in Highgate, North London, two nearby worth at least £20m each, and a £30m property in Guildford, Surrey. He also owns a £265m private jet and a £4m helicopter.
But it emerged Usmanov had protected his fortune as far back as 16 years ago, when he started setting up his trusts.
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However in April, German authorities seized his £455 million superyacht Dilbar.
Federal police announced the yacht was impounded following an investigation into "offshore concealment".
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