Police in Germany have impounded 30 paintings -- include works by French modernist Marc Chagall -- from a yacht belonging to one of Russia's richest people, Alisher Usmanov, who has been slapped with Western sanctions over his close ties to President Vladimir Putin.
Media reports from Germany said the works of art, which were displayed on Usmanov's $600 million superyacht, which was seized in March, have an estimated value of around $5 million.
In autumn 2021, the yacht was anchored in the German port city of Hamburg for repairs. The paintings were stored in a depot of a company that takes care of the vessel.
After Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in late February, Usmanov was slapped with Western sanctions. According to German law, the 69-year-old billionaire was supposed to declare all his belongings and property, including valuable art items, which he never did.
In September, German public prosecutors said the superyacht had been searched after investigations were launched into Usmanov's alleged tax evasion, money laundering, and for violations of European Union sanctions.
The same month, German police searched dozens of houses and apartments belonging to Usmanov and discovered four rare Faberge eggs made by the jewelry firm House of Faberge in imperial Russia. The value of the eggs is not known, but some held by others have been estimated at a value of as much as $33 million.
Media reports said at the time that Usmanov was believed to be residing in his native Uzbekistan, stressing that the oligarch was accused of evading at least 555 million euros ($553 million) in German taxes since 2014.
Forbes has estimated Usmanov's assets at $11.5 billion, RFE/RL reports.
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