Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman has been detained in London on suspicion of money laundering, Russian state news agency TASS reported, after the UK’s National Crime Agency said a “wealthy Russian businessman” had been arrested.
According to the statement, the crime agency said the unnamed businessman was arrested at his London home on Thursday on suspicion of money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to perjury. The man was later released on bail, it said.
Friedman, who is behind Alfa Group, one of Russia’s largest private investment groups, is on the EU’s sanctions list. The EU called Friedman, 58, a “senior Russian financier and associate of Putin’s inner circle” when it put him on the sanctions list in late February.
In a statement on Saturday, Britain’s crime-fighting agency said the 58-year-old was among three men arrested by anti-kleptocracy officers on Thursday at a “multi-million pound residence” in London. All three men have been released on bail, the agency said.
Alpha Group issued a statement indicating that Friedman had not been arrested; but the statement did not say whether Friedman had been released on bail, according to a Radio Free Europe report cited by BGNES.