EU-sanctioned Russian billionaire arrested in France
Alexei Kuzmichev (on the right). Photo: LetterOne Group

Co-founder of Russia's Alfa Group Alexei Kuzmichev, blacklisted by the European Union for abetting the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine was detained and arrested in France on Monday on suspicion of money laundering, French newspaper Le Monde reported.

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France’s financial prosecutor confirmed that Mr Kuzmichev had been suspected of financial crimes.

The oligarch’s several French residences, including an apartment in Paris and a villa in Saint-Tropez, were searched, with "wads of cash" reportedly found.

In March 2022, Mr Kuzmichev was placed under EU sanctions for his role in abetting the Russian regime, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine the month before.

While sanctions prohibit the Russian from entering the EU, it is understood that he had already been in France by then.

Alexei Kuzmichev was ranked 25th in the latest Forbes rating of Russian billionaires, with an estimated USD 6.4 billion in assets. Apart from Alfa-Group, which owns Alfa-Bank, one of the biggest in Russia, the Russian also was related to the investment company LetterOne.

After being blacklisted by the EU, Mr Kuzmichev and his partner, German Khan, withdrew from Alfa-Bank and left the board of LetterOne.