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Germany seizes real estate properties of Russian citizens for the first time

Munich City Hall. / Reuters

Those affected are a Duma deputy who supports the invasion of Ukraine and his wife

The Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Criminal Investigation Office (BKA) have seized three homes in the Bavarian capital owned by two Russian citizens. It is the first time since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine that German justice seizes real estate in this country from citizens of the Russian Federation, by applying the sanctions dictated by the West against the Moscow regime.

The Public Ministry also announced the seizure of the current account in which the rent of the houses was deposited. Those affected are a member of the Duma, the Russian parliament, whose surname begins with ‘L’ and his wife, who is listed as a permanent resident in the Bavarian capital. The public accusation accuses both of violating the sanctions dictated by the European Union. “This is to our knowledge the first case at the national level in which not only assets are frozen (in this country), but also real estate due to sanctions,” said Senior Prosecutor Anne Leiding. In the current account, 3,500 euros were deposited monthly for the rents of the intervened flats.

Since February 23, the Russian deputy has been on the list of people with Russian citizenship sanctioned by the EU for supporting the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the invasion of Ukraine. The Duma MP at the time voted in favor of a resolution demanding from Putin the recognition as independent states of the territories claimed by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Kugansk.

The embargoed Russian deputy, but also his wife, cannot continue to bring money into Germany. The investigations carried out against the marriage revealed that both are joint owners of two houses in Munich and she of a third exclusively.

Prosecutor Leiding stressed that in her case not only have the assets been frozen, but their homes have also been seized. Such an action is possible on the basis of German criminal law, although such a case had not occurred until now.

The order of intervention of the goods and real estate was ordered by the municipal court of Munich at the request of the local Public Prosecutor’s Office. This same Monday the Russian marriage was erased from the property registry, which confirmed the execution of the embargo. The tenants will be able to continue occupying the apartments, but they will pay the rents to the court in charge of the case.

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