Raid on the palace of the Russian “oligarch” Oleg Deripaska in Washington

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The US Federal Police (FBI) on Tuesday raided a mansion in Washington owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a statement, the FBI said it had raided the luxury mansion in an upscale neighborhood of the capital to carry out “court-authorized police activities”.

“We have no more information to release at this time,” an FBI spokesperson said.

In 2018, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on Deripaska, based on an investigation related to money laundering and extortion.

The Treasury Department said at the time that Deripaska is also suspected of bribing a government official, of ordering the murder of a businessman, and of having ties to a Russian mafia group.

But in March 2019, Deripaska filed a lawsuit against the Treasury, accusing it of illegally targeting him, in an effort that failed as a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit this year.

In his lawsuit, the Russian oligarch said that his fortune had decreased by $7.5 billion since sanctions were in place against him and six other Russian oligarchs.

He added that his stakes in the giant Russian aluminum company “Rusal” had declined and that in order to avoid setbacks for this group and its subsidiary “EN+” and other companies, he was forced to transfer his interests to third parties.

The Treasury Department lifted the sanctions it had imposed on Rusal and two other companies after Deripaska’s decision to reduce his stake in their capital. But it kept the penalties on him, which prevents others from dealing with him.

Deripaska’s name is frequently mentioned in the investigation into Moscow’s meddling in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. According to documents, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort shared classified information with a Russian oligarch as well as with Russian intelligence agent Konstantin Klimnik.

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