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Oligarch Alisher Usmanov ‘flees to bolthole palace in Uzbekistan’

Sanctioned oligarch Alisher Usmanov is believed to have fled to his lavish bolthole palace in his native Uzbekistan.

The former major Arsenal shareholder who faces having European assets seized since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is thought to have fled from one of his homes in Germany earlier this week.

Flight tracker records reveal that his personal Airbus A340-300 flew on Monday night from Munich International Airport to Tashkent, the capital of impoverished Uzbekistan.

Alisher Usmanov pictured his wife as they arrive for the re-opening ceremony of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 2011

The aircraft took off at 7.20pm Central European Time around five hours after sanctions were supposed to curtail Usmanov’s travel in the European Union.

Russian sources suggest that Usmanov, 68, has a luxury palace in Tashkent where he can relax, knowing that it is a home which can never be seized by western Governments.

MailOnline has unearthed a video which purports to show the luxurious interior and exterior of the mansion in his homeland.

The property is believed to be on the steppes of the authoritarian and impoverished Central Asian country, which has Usmanov as its most wealthy scion.

Russian sources suggest that Usmanov, 68, has a luxury palace in Tashkent where he can relax, knowing that it is a home which can never be seized by western Governments

Russian sources suggest that Usmanov, 68, has a luxury palace in Tashkent where he can relax, knowing that it is a home which can never be seized by western Governments

It features vast domed ceilings, curved staircases, a selection of giant reception rooms, arched doorways, a large indoor swimming pool, a gym, massage room, sauna, steam room, a cinema and meeting rooms.

It is amply furnished with ornate plasterwork, antique and gold plated furniture, paintings of tasteful nudes, sumptuous sofas, crystal glassware lights, display cases for treasures, and opulent rugs over tiled floors.

An underground garage has parking for a fleet of Mercedes cars and the grounds include sweeping terraces overlooked by balconies.

Sources say that under fire billionaire Usmanov has recently lived at his Tashkent mansion more than at his homes in Britain, Germany, and Russia where he has close links to Putin’s regime.

It is known that he has increased his investments and charitable activities in Uzbekistan lately.

He has even reportedly loaned a private plane to his friend Shavkat Mirziyoyev, 64, the country’s president.

News website arstechnicca.com which unearthed evidence of the flight of Usmanov’s plane, said: ‘It’s possible that the plane was empty apart from the crew, though it may have been carrying a passenger who was looking to get out of town quickly.

‘The brown-and-white jet, named Bourkhan, is owned by Alisher Usmanov, who has been known to visit spas in the Bavarian Alps.

‘At the time of the take off, the Russian oligarch had been banned from travel in the European Union five hours earlier.’

The property is believed to be on the steppes of the authoritarian and impoverished Central Asian country, which has Usmanov as its most wealthy scion

The property is believed to be on the steppes of the authoritarian and impoverished Central Asian country, which has Usmanov as its most wealthy scion

It is believed that metals and minerals mogul Usmanov has not been seen for some time at his £48m home Beechwood House in Highgate, north London, or his 16th century Sutton Place estate in Surrey.

He was rumoured in recent weeks to be seeking a private buyer for Beechwood House as the threat of sanctions against him loomed in the event of Putin going ahead with his invasion of Ukraine.

The UK Government imposed a full asset freeze and travel ban on Usmanov and fellow leading oligarch Igor Shuvalov on Thursday night over their ‘close links to the Kremlin’.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: ‘Our message to Putin and his allies has been clear from day one – invading Ukraine would have serious and crippling economic consequences.

‘Sanctioning Usmanov and Shuvalov sends a clear message that we will hit oligarchs and individuals closely associated with the Putin regime and his barbarous war.

‘We won’t stop here. Our aim is to cripple the Russian economy and starve Putin’s war machine.’

Usmanov is said to be a close ally and business fixer for Putin and has spoken in the past of his pride at his friendship with the Russian leader, saying: ‘The fact that everybody does not like him is not Putin’s problem.’

Usmanov’s front company bought Grade Two listed Beechwood House from the Emir of Qatar for a cut price £48million in 2008 after it was on the market for £65million. The purchase was shrouded in secrecy with only one published picture of the estate being released.

MailOnline has unearthed a video which purports to show the luxurious interior and exterior of the mansion in his homeland

MailOnline has unearthed a video which purports to show the luxurious interior and exterior of the mansion in his homeland

One property expert commenting at the time, said: ‘It’s magnificent.’

Land Registry records show that the Regency-style mansion which was built in 1840 has been owned since March 2008 by an Isle of Man registered company called Hanley Limited.

Company records suggest the firm, registered in Douglas, was dissolved last October, shrouding the exact ownership of the eight bedroom house in mystery.

His ties with Putin go beyond business as his gymnastics coach wife Irina Viner, 73, helped Putin’s alleged mistress Alina Kabaeva win a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.

Irina who is known as the long-time doyen of Russian rhythmic gymnastics is thought to have been staying at Beechwood House last November.

She was there with Usmanov’s nephew Sarvar Ismailov, 26, a director of Everton FC until he resigned in November for ‘personal and health reasons’.

An assault case against Ismailov was dropped in December, ahead of a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Kabaeva heads a major pro-Kremlin media holding and there are unconfirmed suggestions that she has a young family.

Putin has previously said: ‘I have a private life in which I do not permit interference. It must be respected.’ He deplored ‘those who with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies prowl into others’ lives’.

Kabaeva is on record as saying she had met a man who ‘I love very much’.

She gushed: ‘Sometimes you feel so happy that you even feel scared.’

The aircraft took off at 7.20pm Central European Time around five hours after sanctions were supposed to curtail Usmanov's travel in the European Union

The aircraft took off at 7.20pm Central European Time around five hours after sanctions were supposed to curtail Usmanov’s travel in the European Union

Her close confidante Irina has said: ‘When Alina finds the right time, she will say it herself. I’m just happy for her.’

Usmanov has come under media fire in Russia with repeated attempts to link him to Dmitry Medvedev, the Kremlin’s ex-president and former prime minister who is now deputy head of the Russian security council.

Usmanov has repeatedly denied any improper connections. The latest case suggested that one of three homes linked to him on the shore of picturesque Lake Tegernsee in the Bavarian Alps was used by former Russian First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva, wife of the ex-president.

One home on the lake – described as his personal property, with its own boathouse – was purchased through Tegernsee (IOM) Limited (Isle of Man) and rebuilt at a cost of 20 million euros, reported VCHK-OGPU channel.

The channel said: ‘According to the neighbours of the oligarch, he is usually accompanied by 7 or 8 bodyguards, as well as drivers, servants, [and] cooks. 

‘Usmanov did not want to live with them in the same household and bought a villa nearby (on Forellenstrasse) for servants at a cost of 6.5 million euros.

‘The house was to be demolished and replaced with a new building.’

It is a third house at which Medvedev’s wife was seen, according to the channel. Channel VCHK-OGPU also reported that the European authorities faced ‘big problems’ in trying to link Usmanov’s EU properties to him.

A source said: ‘His yacht, plane, three houses in Germany, are issued to offshore companies, and even if one “digs” all the chains of companies on which data has been “leaked”, you will not find a direct connection with Usmanov and his companies.

Usmanov (pictured) has come under media fire in Russia with repeated attempts to link him to Dmitry Medvedev

Usmanov (pictured) has come under media fire in Russia with repeated attempts to link him to Dmitry Medvedev

‘Officially, Usmanov rents houses, a yacht and a plane from these offshore companies. He has all the necessary documents.

‘All such issues will be resolved in the courts and I doubt that they will be easy for the European authorities.’

Everton suspended all its commercial and sponsorship activities with companies where Usmanov was a majority shareholder; USM and Megafon, Sky Sports reported.

This also includes Yota, the Russian smartphone company which sponsored Everton Women and part of MegaFon group.

Usmanov has been seen as an influential figure at Everton since his long-time business partner Farhad Moshiri bought a 49.9 per cent stake six years ago.

The 68-year-old’s company, USM Holdings, paid £12million-a-year to sponsor the club’s training ground and in 2020 announced a £30m deal for a future naming-rights option on the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, which will not open until at least 2024. 


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