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Russian oligarch Alexey Kuzmichev has been apprehended in France over accusations of tax evasion, money laundering, and breach of international sanctions.
The French Financial Prosecutors’ office confirmed that investigations at Kuzmichev’s Parisian residence and the Mediterranean Var region occurred on Monday. Although the oligarch remained in detention as of Tuesday, formal charges have yet to be levied against him. Kuzmichev’s legal representative, Philippe Blanchetier, did not comment on the ongoing situation.
In response to the events, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that Russia would stand ready to defend Kuzmichev’s rights, contingent upon receiving detailed information about the case from Paris. Peskov remarked, “Once we receive the information, and if the detainee so wishes, we will of course assist in protecting his rights as a Russian citizen.”
Last year, there was a dispute between French authorities and Kuzmichev when his 90-foot yacht “La Petite Ourse” was seized. This action aligned with the European Union’s sanctions related to Kuzmichev’s associations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The oligarch, a former major shareholder of Russia’s Alfa Bank, subsequently engaged in a legal battle over the seizure.