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HomeNewsLVMH boss Bernard Arnault underneath investigation in Paris over Russian oligarch transactions...

LVMH boss Bernard Arnault underneath investigation in Paris over Russian oligarch transactions Acquire US

Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, attends a information convention to current the 2022 annual outcomes of LVMH in Paris, France, January 26, 2023.

Gonzalo Fuentes | Reuters

The Paris public prosecutor’s workplace is investigating LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault over monetary transactions involving Russian oligarch Nikolai Sarkisov.

French newspaper Le Monde reported Thursday, citing France’s Tracfin monetary intelligence unit, that Sarkisov had purchased actual property at an Alpine resort with the assistance of a mortgage from Arnault.

The Paris prosecutor’s workplace confirmed Friday {that a} preliminary investigation had been underway since 2022, and {that a} Tracfin report “drawing the eye of the prosecutor’s workplace to operations regarding Mr. Bernard Arnault and Mr. Sarkisov, more likely to characterize acts of cash laundering, has been hooked up to this process.”

The prosecutor’s workplace declined to remark additional on the continuing investigations. A preliminary investigation doesn’t essentially indicate wrongdoing, and Le Monde cited an in depth affiliate of Arnault as saying the deal was carried out inside the scope of French legislation.

Arnault, founder, CEO and chairman of the world’s largest luxurious items firm and one of many world’s richest males, lost a high court case against French tax investigators in February over the legality of a 2019 raid on LVMH’s headquarters. The raid associated to a tax fraud probe linked to actions in Belgium.

Nikolai Sarkisov is a senior determine at his brother Sergey’s Russian insurance coverage firm, RESO-Garantia.

RESO-Garantia Deputy CEO Igor Ivanov instructed CNBC on Friday that neither the corporate, nor Nikolai Sarkisov personally had been concerned within the transaction, and that Sarkisov had by no means met Arnault.

“The transaction was managed by a small funding unit which invests professionally in European actual property. It consisted of buying flats in an outdated constructing in Courchevel from varied personal house owners, with the view to promote them later to a developer as soon as your entire constructing was purchased out,” Ivanov mentioned in an e-mail.

“All transactions have been carried out by French firms, via French notaries by French legal professionals on all sides. This was a regular actual property deal.”

He added that neither the corporate nor Sarkisov had obtained any request for paperwork from French authorities.

LVMH this weekend despatched CNBC a remark from Jacqueline Laffont, Arnault’s lawyer, who mentioned the allegations of cash laundering have been “as absurd as they’re unfounded.”

“The operation that was carried out to permit the growth of the White Horse Resort in Courchevel is well-known and was carried out in compliance with the legal guidelines and with the assist of councils. The investigation, apparently in progress, won’t fail to acknowledge this,” she mentioned, in line with the assertion.

 “Furthermore, who can severely think about that Mr. Bernard Arnault, who for the previous 40 years has constructed France and Europe’s prime firm would have interaction in cash laundering to increase a lodge? I believe that the mindless nature of those allegations can’t escape anybody.”

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