National Crime Agency Drops its investigation into Alleged Sanctions Evasion by Russian Billionaire
The National Crime Agency (NCA) Abandons Inquiry into Sanctions Evasion by Russian Oligarch Mikhail Fridman 65m London Residence.
The NCA’s investigation into alleged sanctions evasion by a prominent Russian oligarch, Mikhail Fridman, at his 65-metre London Residence, has been officially terminated. This development comes after a dramatic raid on Fridman’s north London residence, involving over 50 officers, led to his arrest and the confiscation of digital devices and a substantial amount of cash. However, the NCA has now announced the discontinuation of its probe against Mr. Fridman.
Ongoing Inquiries On Russian Oligarch Mikhail Fridman 65m London Residence
NCA Halts Investigation of Mikhail Fridman but Continues to Pursue Associated Suspects
The NCA clarified its decision, stating that it will not proceed with any further action against Mr. Fridman in connection with the December 2022 warrant executed at Athlone House. Nonetheless, ongoing inquiries continue in relation to other individuals associated with the broader investigation.
Russian Billionaire and High-Profile Figure Avoid NCA Investigation A specialized unit established to examine affluent Russians targeted Mikhail Fridman, a 59-year-old businessman known for his notable success in banking, oil, and retail. This unit was created following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Technical Errors in Warrant
NCA Investigation Into Fridman Marred by “Technical Errors” in the search warrant. The investigation into Fridman focused on an alleged loan payment from Alfa Bank to his executive assistant before he faced sanctions. Notably, the NCA acknowledged the presence of “technical errors” in the search warrant. During a court hearing in July, Mr. Fridman contested the legality of the raid, claiming it relied on “kompromat,” including an unverified 15-year-old report containing criminal allegations.
Britain imposed Extensive Sanctions on Oligarchs after the Ukraine Invasion. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK government has imposed sanctions on over 130 oligarchs with a combined net worth exceeding £145 billion. The Foreign Office described this as the “most severe package of sanctions ever” implemented against a major economy. Nevertheless, Mr. Fridman, a banking magnate, was granted a license to employ various staff members, including drivers, housekeepers, handymen, and private chefs, during the first year of the conflict. Over a ten-month period, these payments totaled £300,000, according to documents reported by The New York Times.
Mikhail Fridman Receives Monthly Allowance and Faces Unlawful Raid Allegations
Mr. Fridman, characterized by the government as a pro-Kremlin oligarch, also received a monthly allowance of around £7,000 to cover his family’s basic needs. In a recent High Court appearance, he alleged that the NCA had unlawfully raided his family home last year based on a search warrant obtained through false allegations.