Mikhail Fridman, who finances the Bereshit Prize and whose fortune is estimated at almost 15 billion dollars, was arrested at the estate on suspicion of money laundering, as part of the British fight against the oligarchs. “I’m fine, meeting friends,” he told Russian media after being released on bail.
The National Crime Agency in Great Britain announced yesterday (Saturday) that it arrested a “rich Russian businessman” in London on suspicion of money laundering and other crimes, as part of the fight against the Russian oligarchs. In Britain, the name of that detainee – who has since been released on bail – has not been published, but sources close to that billionaire told the Russian media that it was Mikhail Fridman.
Fridman is a Jewish-Russian businessman who also holds Israeli citizenship. His fortune is estimated according to “Forbes” at about 15 billion dollars, and he is one of the founders of the “Alpha Group” corporation, which includes banks, an oil company, a supermarket chain, communication companies and more. “I’m fine, I’m meeting friends at the weekend,” the 58-year-old Fridman told Forbes in Russian, after his arrest.
According to the report in the UK, the arrest took place in a mansion “worth millions of pounds”. According to the British announcement, the oligarch was arrested on suspicion of money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Ministry of the Interior and conspiracy to commit a crime. Besides him, a 35-year-old man was also arrested while leaving the place carrying a bag containing thousands of pounds. Tim. A 39-year-old man, the ex-partner of Fridman’s current girlfriend, was also arrested at his home in London. Both Fridman and the other two detainees were released after paying bail.
The National Crime Agency said that more than 50 police officers belonging to the anti-corruption force were involved in the operation at the billionaire’s mansion, where digital devices and a significant amount of money were confiscated at the end of the search. The head of the agency, Graham Bigger, said that the fight force established this year to deal with attempts to evade the sanctions imposed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine had a significant impact on the criminal activities of the oligarchs. “We will continue to use our power and all possible tactics to thwart the threat,” he said.
Fridman, who in the European Union this year was said to be among Putin’s closest circle, is also the founder and main financier of the Genesis philanthropic foundation, which supports the strengthening of the Jewish identity of Russian-speaking Jews around the world – and is also the distributor and financier of the prestigious Genesis Prize, which is considered the Jewish Nobel Prize and is given to well-known personalities. In 2012, the oligarch accompanied Russian President Vladimir Putin on his visit to Israel, and was one of those who funded the monument commemorating the Red Army’s victory over the Nazis – a monument that Putin inaugurated during that visit to Netanya.
December 3, 2022 Published by YnetNews.