Bavarian prosecutors targeted a Duma deputy from the Russian Communist Party and confiscated his real estate in Munich. Given his real estate fortune, the Russian is likely to be a multi-millionaire.
The Munich I public prosecutor’s office is serious. For the first time, prosecutors confiscate the property of wealthy Russians in Germany. Together with the Federal Criminal Police Office, Munich police and tax officials, the Bavarian Justitia confiscated three properties and an account. Officially, the public prosecutor’s office announced only the first letter of the surname: “L”. But who is behind “L”?
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According to the public prosecutor’s office, in addition to “L” there is also his wife “K” – “two Russian citizens” whose assets were confiscated in connection with the implementation of sanctions for the war of aggression against Ukraine: “The accused L. is a member of the State Duma, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. The accused K. is the wife of the accused L. with registered residence in Munich.”
“L.” is said to belong to the Russian Communist Party, according to freelance journalists from Russia. Going through the list of deputies in the Russian parliament, there are three deputies from the Russian Communist Party whose surnames begin with “L” – Oleg Lebedev, Sergei Levchenko and Roman Lyabichov. But only one of the three married a “K”: Roman Lyabichov’s wife’s name is Elena Kuznetsova.
Lyabichow’s assets are interesting. His 2021 statement, published on the Duma’s website, lists the MP and his wife as having more than 30 properties in Russia and a piece of land in the United Arab Emirates. But: There is no information about German apartments.
That’s strange: Lyabichov also ran for the Moscow city parliament in 2014. And on the website of the Moscow Electoral Commission there is a statement listing his real estate: This included an apartment in Munich with a parking space.
Did Lyabichov hide real estate from the Russian State Duma? That could cause trouble. In addition to trouble from Munich, there may also be the threat of his deputy mandate being revoked.
But the incomplete real estate list on the Duma’s website is astonishing enough: according to it, Roman Lyabichov would be one of the richest Russian deputies, if his official statement is to be believed – and that as a member of the Communist Party!
And Lyabikhov is not just anyone: he has been a pro-communist member of the Duma, Russia’s parliament, since 2020 and is currently vice-chairman of the Committee on Construction, Housing and Municipal Services. Previously, he was director of various companies in the chemical industry.
The 49-year-old MP has been on one of the EU’s sanctions lists since February 23. At that time, he and all the other 399 Russian Duma deputies present legitimized Putin’s claim to the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, Putin’s feigned reason for war.
Merely owning houses or yachts in Germany is still allowed for the Russians who are on the sanctions list. However, you cannot make money from real estate. But the Ljabichows rent their three Munich apartments for a total of around 3,500 euros a month, according to the public prosecutor’s office. Therefore, the Munich judiciary intervened and confiscated the real estate. In addition, prosecutors confiscated the couple’s account that received the rent payments.
According to Section 18 of the German Foreign Trade and Payments Act (AWG), the Lyabichovs now face three to five years in prison if they face a German court. Ultimately, the state of Bavaria could also incorporate the three apartments entirely according to the AWG.