Russian oligarch and Alfra Group partner Alexey Kuzmichev has been arrested by French authorities for money laundering, Le Monde reported on Oct. 30.
Police officers searched Kuzmichev’s apartment in Paris and villa in Saint-Tropez and found “wads of money on the floor,” French media reported citing the country’s top prosecutor.
Kuzmichev was widely considered one of the most influential oligarchs in Russia and added to the EU’s sanction list shortly after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in Feb. 2022.
Forbes magazine estimated his wealth to be about $6.5 billion in 2023, mostly stemming from his sale of energy company TNK-BP shares for $14 billion in 2013.
Two of Kuzmichev's yachts were frozen by French authorities in March while Alfa Bank was sanctioned by the U.S. in April 2022. The U.S. also sanctioned Kuzmichev and other Russian elites associated with the Alfa Group in August 2023.
Russian tycoons have long sought to influence EU policy through opaque financial ties and business investments.