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Russian oligarch Alexei Kuzmichev charged with tax fraud in France

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 2, 2023 12:25 AM 2 min read
Logo of Alfa Bank, a subsidiary of the Russian financial conglomerate Alfa Group. (Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Russian oligarch and Alfa Group partner Alexei Kuzmichev was charged with tax fraud in France on Nov. 1, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported, citing the country's financial prosecutor. The Russian national was placed on "judicial supervision" and prevented from leaving the country.

Earlier this week, Kuzmichev was arrested by French authorities for money laundering. Police searched Kuzmichev’s apartment in Paris and villa in Saint-Tropez and reportedly found “wads of money on the floor.”

AFP was told by an unnamed source that Kuzmichev was arrested in the French Riviera resort of Saint-Tropez. He was forced to pay a bond of $8.5 million.

According to the French National Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF), he also faces charges of concealing work with groups in organized crime.

Alexei 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.

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