German authorities have invaded the Swiss bank UBS, where former ING boss Ralph Hamers is the top man. Offices in Frankfurt and Munich were searched in connection with an investigation into possible money laundering by a Russian oligarch.
The German weekly Der Spiegel first reported the raid, which indicated that the case concerned the Russian copper tycoon Alisher Usmanov. That businessman is good friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, the searches have also been reported by UBS and prosecutors in Germany. But they would not confirm Usmanov’s name. However, it was indicated that no people from the bank are being investigated, and UBS itself said it is cooperating with the authorities.
The wealthy Russian, in turn, has said through a spokesperson that the allegations are unfounded, false and defamatory. “The businessman is a law-abiding and conscientious taxpayer who has paid taxes in Russia,” Usmanov’s spokesman said.
It is not the first time that German researchers have taken a closer look at the billionaire. Earlier this year, authorities searched a yacht belonging to Usmanov.