Officials in Germany on Tuesday searched the Munich and Frankfurt offices of Swiss banking giant UBS Group AG, a move that some media reports said was linked to ties with a Russian oligarch.
The Swiss bank
confirmed the searches of those branches to MarketWatch, but declined to give further details. Reuters cited a spokesperson for the prosecution’s office, who said they were tied to suspicions of money laundering.
German news weekly Der Spiegel first reported the office searches, which it claimed was connected to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and more than 2 million euros ($2 million) worth of transactions between 2018 and 2020.
A spokesman for Usmanov denied to Bloomberg and Reuters any links between the oligarch and money laundering, saying they were unfounded, false and defamatory. Usmanov, a major stakeholder in iron ore and steel giant Metalloinvest, was hit with sanctions from the U.S., U.K. and Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.