Initially, Mikhail Fridman, aged 59, faced serious accusations, including conspiracy to evade sanctions, involvement in money laundering, fraud, and perjury. Britain FBI However, these charges have been dropped.
National Crime Agency’s Responsibilities
The National Crime Agency (NCA), often likened to Britain FBI, is now obligated to compensate Mr. Mikhail Fridman for intrusion, cover his legal expenses, and return confiscated funds.
The mishandling of this case occurred within the NCA’s Combating Kleptocracy Cell, established in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Highly Intrusive Search Operation
Approximately 50 NCA officials conducted a search at Mr. Fridman’s North London residence, Athlone House, in 2022. The “most extensive premises ever searched by law enforcement in the UK in relation to executing a warrant,” according to NCA documents, was this property in Highgate. During the operation, Mr. Fridman and his employees were apprehended, and his assets were confiscated.
Mr. Fridman expressed shock when he was handcuffed and the warrant’s contents were recited to him, as he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. In an apparently straightforward situation, 51 officers wearing masks and a dozen vehicles carried out a full-scale operation, sealing off the entire neighborhood.
Meanwhile, the estate’s manager commented, “I was treated as if I were an ordinary criminal and handled like an animal. We were all taken aback and filled with fear.”
Collapse of the Case
The case fell apart due to errors in the NCA’s documentation, which contained an incorrect date (stating 2021 instead of the actual year, 2022). Additionally, the search warrant lacked specificity regarding the authorized search areas.
Fridman’s Assertion of Innocence
Mr. Fridman has maintained his innocence, stating, “I have not engaged in any unlawful activities, and I have never violated any laws, including tax regulations, in any country worldwide. Are the expenses incurred by taxpayers justified after months of investigation? The most distressing aspect was that I felt humiliated and without protection in a country that rightfully prides itself on safeguarding the rights and freedoms of its citizens.”
Britain FBI Faces Scrutiny
An NCA spokesperson has confirmed that no further action will be taken against Mikhail Fridman regarding the warrant executed at Athlone House in December 2022. Investigations are still ongoing concerning other individuals connected to the broader inquiry.