Sanctions Against Oligarchs

Oligarch Samvel Karapetyan $132 Million Astonishing Mansion Seized In France

A money laundering investigation in France has targeted Russian-Armenian businessman Samvel Karapetyan and Russian energy behemoth Gazprom, leading to the confiscation of a lavish US$132 million mansion situated on the French Riviera.

Samvel Karapetyan $132 Million Mansion

In a ruling on February 12, a French court authorized the seizure of the Villa Maria Irina estate, purportedly owned by Samvel Karapetyan, renowned as the billionaire chief of the Tashir Group.

Samvel Karapetyan $132 Million Mansion
Samvel Karapetyan $132 Million Mansion

According to information from Le Monde , the property, made up of a main building of several floors, three swimming pools, a tennis court and a heliport, was seized “by order of February 12, 2024  ”, as l ‘confirmed the Paris prosecutor’s office.

French daily Le Monde has reported that the recent confiscation marks the largest seizure by French authorities since the onset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, triggering a series of sanctions against Moscow by Western nations.

Prosecutors assert that Samvel Karapetyan, who acquired the villa in 2010, purportedly acted in the interests of Gazprom.

Evidence suggests that successive acquisition transactions for the villa were executed under the names of various companies, with Gazprom allegedly being the ultimate beneficiary, according to statements from the Paris prosecutor’s office.

Documents scrutinized by Le Monde indicate that Karapetyan purchased shares of the property owner, Maritime Villa Holding SNC, from Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Neft, facilitated by a 115-million-euro loan extended by Gazprombank, which is associated with Gazprom and Vladimir Putin’s close associate Yuri Kovalchuk.

All parties involved in the transaction are reportedly linked to the state-owned Russian enterprise Gazprom.

In France, money laundering and concealing the true beneficiary carry penalties of up to ten years’ imprisonment and the forfeiture of assets if the owner fails to provide legitimate financial and legal justifications.

If Samvel Karapetyan is found complicit in a scheme with Gazprom to evade sanctions imposed by the West following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the property could be confiscated and auctioned off.

France’s national anti-organized crime unit, JUNALCO, has been actively pursuing Russian oligarchs who hold assets and properties in the country.

A recent investigation by Le Monde unveiled that senior executives of Gazprombank owned, at times discreetly, real estate in France, which they reportedly sold without notification following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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