France seizes €4.5m coastal villa linked to Vladimir Putin

AFP - [email protected]
France seizes €4.5m coastal villa linked to Vladimir Putin
The villa has been repeatedly tagged with anti-Putin messages since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Photo by GAIZKA IROZ / AFP

The Kremlin on Thursday reacted furiously to the seizure in France of a luxurious seaside villa allegedly owned by Russian businessman Artur Ocheretny, the new partner of President Vladimir Putin's ex-wife.


The property, in the southwestern coastal town of Anglet, was seized in December 2023 as part of an investigation into money laundering, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Nicknamed Suzanna, the palatial, Art déco home was purchased for €5.4 million in 2013, with renovations totalling up to €3.5 million, according to French media.

The probe came to light following a complaint by Transparency International, an NGO that exposes and tracks assets it says are linked to "dirty money".


Investigators are looking into whether the funds used to purchase the home were obtained fraudulently, although prosecutors have stressed no-one has been formally charged.

The Kremlin reacted furiously to the seizure: "Any encroachment on private property is illegal from the onset," spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"The French authorities are undermining the foundations of their legal system. We have said it many times," he added.

Since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022, billions of dollars worth of Russian assets have been frozen or confiscated in Europe due to sanctions.

The Kremlin has reacted furiously to the seizures and European efforts to use them to arm Ukraine, calling such moves an "unprecedented violation" of international law.


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