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Russian oligarch sues UBS over ‘unlawful’ money laundering alerts

Alisher Usmanov
Alisher Usmanov (r) with Vladimir Putin. Keystone

Sanctioned Russian-Uzbek multi-billionaire Alisher Usmanov has filed a lawsuit against UBS claiming damages for “breach of contract and tortious misconduct”.

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The reason given by the lawyers for the lawsuit is that the bank’s German subsidiary, UBS Europe, “unlawfully” reported Usmanov to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). According to the Munich-based lawyers Gauweiler and Rabenau, the bank made more than a dozen so-called suspicious money laundering reports to the authorities, “in some cases completely absurdly on the occasion of regular rent payments or ordinary cash withdrawals”.


According to the lawyers, these reports took place between 2018 and 2022 and “severely damaged Mr Usmanov’s reputation”. He has also “suffered considerable financial losses” as a result.

For this reason, the German law firm has filed a lawsuit against the UBS subsidiary in Frankfurt “to establish liability for damages” for Usmanov personally “for fundamental judicial clarification”. However, according to the lawyers, this will not be the end of the matter, “as the extent of the damage that has been caused cannot be overlooked”.

The Russian-Uzbek multi-billionaire Usmanov, whose fortune was recently estimated at $13.6 billion (CHF12.1 billion) by the US business magazine Forbes, is considered a close supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukraine policy.

+ UBS raided in oligarch money laundering probe

The European Union therefore imposed sanctions against him a few days after Russia’s military invasion of the neighboring country in February 2022. The decision at the time stated that Usmanov had served as a front man for Putin and solved his business problems.

Protesters have repeatedly demonstrated in front of the oligarch’s villa in Rottach-Egern in Upper Bavaria following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The news agency Reuters was the first to report the lawsuit. UBS declined to comment and has not responded to an enquiry from AWP.

Translated from German by DeepL/mga

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

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