Considered by the EU to be one of Russia's most influential people, Alexey Kuzmichev has been detained by French police for questioning.
Russian tycoon Alexey Kuzmichev has been detained in France for questioning over alleged tax evasion, money laundering and violation of international sanctions, the French Financial Prosecutors’ Office (PNF) said on Tuesday.
As part of the investigation, searches took place on Monday in "various places", such as the oligarch's Parisian home, the PNF said.
According to the French news outlet Le Monde, Kuzmichev's villa in Saint-Tropez was also searched.
Kuzmichev was detained on Monday and remained in custody on Tuesday. He has not yet been charged in the case.
A lawyer for the billionaire declined to comment. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, said Russia will be able to defend Kuzmichev's rights once Paris provides detailed information about the case.
The European Union considers the magnate “one of the most influential persons in Russia,” with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.
French customs agents last year seized the oligarch's 27-metre yacht as part of Brussels' sanctions on Moscow. The move sparked a legal battle between authorities and Kuzmichev, one of the main shareholders of Russia's Alfa Bank.