BERLIN -German authorities seized three Munich apartments linked to a Russian lawmaker on the EU sanctions list, state prosecutors said on Monday, in what they say is the first confiscation of real estate in Germany since the Russia-Ukraine war began.
The private properties were confiscated from June 14 together with a bank account that had been receiving monthly rental payments of around 3,500 euros ($3,685), a statement from the Munich state prosecutor’s office said.
The assets seized were linked to a member of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, and the man’s wife, who is a registered resident of the southern German city, the statement added.
The prosecutor’s office said investigations have begun together with police and the Munich finance authority into initial suspicion of criminal activity.
The couple, identified in the statement only by the initials L. and K., are the owners of two flats and had allegedly been renting them out in violation of the sanctions, which were imposed by the European Union in a bid to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Investigators also found that the woman had been generating income from a third property, of which she is the sole owner, according to the state prosecutor.
She is not on the sanctions list by name, like her husband, but is still considered sanctioned by association under EU law, prosecutors said.
The tenants of the properties are allowed to remain in their homes but have been ordered to stop paying rent to the owners, the statement said.
($1 = 0.9500 euros)