Russian businessman arrested in oligarchs investigation

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Arrest pictureImage source, NCA
Image caption,
More than 50 officers were involved in the operation at the businessman's London property

A Russian businessman has been arrested at his multi-million-pound London home by officers investigating potential criminal activity by oligarchs.

The man, 58, was held on suspicion of money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury.

A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

He was also arrested for obstructing an officer when trying to leave with a bag containing thousands of pounds in cash.

A third man, 39, who is the former boyfriend of the businessman's current partner, was arrested at his home in Pimlico, central London, for offences including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said more than 50 officers from its Combatting Kleptocracy Cell were involved in the operation at the businessman's property, where a number of digital devices and a significant quantity of cash was seized following a search.

Graeme Biggar, director general of the NCA, said the unit, which was established this year, was having "significant success investigating potential criminal activity by oligarchs".

He added: "We will continue to use all the powers and tactics available to us to disrupt this threat."

All three of the arrested men, who have not been named by the NCA, have been released on bail.

The NCA said it was the latest operation carried out as part of its efforts to disrupt the activities of corrupt international business figures and their enablers.

Almost 100 "disruptions" - actions that remove or reduce a criminal threat - have been carried out against Putin-linked elites and their enablers, including account freezing orders (AFOs) over accounts held by people closely linked to sanctioned Russians, according to the NCA.

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