Russian billionaire Alexei Kuzmichev, known for being one of the co-founders of the prominent Alfa Group, has been released on bail after being detained by French authorities on charges of money laundering and tax fraud.
Kuzmichev's release followed a €8 million bail payment, as reported by the renowned newspaper Le Monde.
Kuzmichev's encounter with law enforcement began when he was apprehended by French police and held for two days before being presented to an investigating judge at the financial department of the Paris court.
Despite the prosecutor's office's request for his continued detention, Kuzmichev was allowed to leave the courtroom, albeit under strict conditions, including the payment of the hefty €8 million bail. Additionally, he has been mandated to remain within the borders of France for the duration of the investigation.
The authorities also executed search warrants at two of Kuzmichev’s luxurious properties: a villa in Saint-Tropez and a private hotel in Paris.
The operations were conducted meticulously, with forty police officers from Raid and BRI units ensuring the security of the operations.
According to sources close to the matter, the investigation into Kuzmichev’s financial dealings started back in February 2023. The allegations are centered around suspicious property ownership in France and undeclared income.
This information aligns with a report from Tracfin, Bercy's financial intelligence unit, published in the summer of 2022, which likely played a significant role in propelling the investigation forward.
This high-profile case has garnered attention across borders, shedding light on the increasing scrutiny of financial dealings of Russian oligarchs in Europe.
The ongoing investigation is a testament to the French judiciary’s commitment to upholding financial transparency and combating money laundering and tax evasion. As the legal proceedings continue, the international community watches closely, awaiting the final outcome of this notable case.