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Trial against oligarch Usmanov: investigators search luxury yacht "Dilbar"

2022-09-27T09:23:40.939Z

The Alisher Usmanov case continues: The multi-billionaire's mega yacht is in Bremen - and according to SPIEGEL information is now being searched by a special commission. The goal: evidence of money laundering and tax evasion.



Enlarge image

»Dilbar« in front of Istanbul (2019)

Photo: YORUK ISIK / REUTERS

The "Dilbar" is 155 meters long and one of the largest mega yachts in the world.

This Tuesday morning, it becomes the scene of an unprecedented criminal case: officers from the special commission “Ukraine”, consisting of investigators from the Federal Criminal Police Office and tax investigators from North Rhine-Westphalia, are currently searching the luxury ship of the Russian oligarch and multi-billionaire Alisher Usmanov, 69, according to SPIEGEL information The »Süddeutsche Zeitung« also reports on the campaign.

The aim of the raid is to find further evidence in the proceedings against Usmanov on suspicion of violating the Foreign Trade Act, money laundering and tax evasion.

In the past week, investigators had already searched Usmanow's villas on Lake Tegernsee and confiscated documents.

The fact that the authorities are taking criminal action against the multi-billionaire sanctioned by the EU also has to do with the fact that German sanction law still proves to be completely unsuitable in practice.

Criminal tax law is a kind of auxiliary structure to get hold of the assets of at least one oligarch in Germany.

The officials of the special commission assume that Usmanov, who was born in Uzbek, can prove that he has a German place of residence on Lake Tegernsee and is therefore also liable to pay taxes.

According to this, he is said to have evaded taxes of at least 555 million euros in Germany since 2014.

(Read all the background on this here.)

A spokesman for Usmanov firmly rejects the investigators' allegations.

They are unfounded, false and defamatory.

The entrepreneur is a law-abiding and diligent taxpayer who has paid his taxes in Russia.

He is also one of the world's most generous philanthropists, the spokesman said.

Alisher Usmanov's fortune is estimated at $14 billion.

The EU describes him as a "straw man" for Russian despot Vladimir Putin.

Usmanov also rejects this.

According to a spokesman, his success can be attributed solely to his entrepreneurial skills, not to his political affinity.

Nevertheless, Putin has awarded Usmanov several times.

In the past, the entrepreneur has weaved an almost impenetrable web of company constructions, transfers and privileges.

For some companies he had relatives registered as owners, for example his sisters, his wife, a brother-in-law.

He could always formally argue that the assets did not belong to him.

The companies are so intertwined that hardly anyone can see through them.

A good example is the around 600 million dollar yacht "Dilbar", named after Usmanov's mother.

It belongs to Navis Marine Limited, registered in the Caymans, which in turn is owned by Almenor Holdings Limited in Cyprus.

Their shares are in turn held by Pomerol Capital SA in Switzerland – in trust for The Sisters Trust, which Usmanov originally created but which is now attributed to his sister Gulbachor Ismailowa, which Usmanow denies.

A spokesman said Gulbachor is no longer a beneficiary of the trust.

The "Dilbar" had been in dry dock at the Lürssen shipyard in Hamburg for months, where it was being serviced when Russia invaded Ukraine.

The authorities then prevented the ship from leaving German waters because of the sanctions against Usmanow.

Only recently the "Dilbar" was transferred to Bremen.

It is subject to a ban on disposal and may therefore “no longer be sold, rented or encumbered,” according to a spokesman for the Federal Criminal Police Office.

bob, fob, jdl, rol

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-09-27

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