Poilce in Germany carried out searches on properties linked to Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, a former shareholder of Arsenal football club, who also had links to Everton.
The Munich public prosecutor said full searches had taken place at the homes of a Russian citizen and four other suspects. The media claimed that other properties belonging to Usmanov across Germany had been raided.
Authorities searched 24 properties in four states, including Bavaria, with 250 officers involved in the operation, the prosecutor said.
German broadcasters BR and MDR reported that one of the locations targeted was Usmanov’s villa on Lake Tegernsee in the southern state.
The prosecutor said the Russian national involved was suspected of commissioning a security firm to observe properties in Upper Bavaria financially linked to him, even after he was placed on the European Union sanctions list.
His payment to the security firm allegedly flouted a ban on using frozen funds, the statement said.
Usmanov, once described as one of “Putin’s favorite oligarchs”, was placed on a European Union sanctions list after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
He was a shareholder of Arsenal from 2007 until 2018 when he sold his 30% stake in the club. Usmanov also has links with another Premier League side, Everton.
Its holding company, USM, agreed a five-year deal with the Merseyside outfit in 2017 for the naming rights to the club’s training ground.
This agreement was later suspended after the invasion of Russia.
He has a net worth of $14.6bn (£12.7bn), according to Forbes.