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Russia Asks For Explanation After Billionaire Rybolovlev 'Detained In Monaco'

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev (file photo)
Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev (file photo)

The Russian Embassy to France has asked for clarifications from authorities in the Principality of Monaco after Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev was reportedly detained there for questioning in a corruption-related case.

Rybolovlev, who is the owner of the Monaco soccer club, was detained early on November 6, French newspaper Le Monde reported, adding that his house had been searched.

No further information was immediately available.

The Monaco team earlier in the day denied a report by French website Mediapart that Rybolovlev attempted to circumvent European soccer’s Financial Fair Play rules by using a fake marketing deal to funnel money into the financially struggling club.

Mediapart alleged that the money actually came from one of Rybolovlev’s offshore companies.

"The Embassy of the Russian Federation to France has requested clarifications from the Monaco authorities," the embassy said in a statement, adding that it was "looking forward" to a reply.

The embassy said that neither the billionaire nor his representatives have contacted Russian diplomatic missions in France. Russia's Ambassador to France Aleksandr Orlov also serves as envoy to Monaco.

Rybolovlev saved AS Monaco from bankruptcy in December 2011 by buying a 66 percent stake in the club and has provided the team with financial support.

The squad became the French champions in 2017 and also reached the final four of the Champions League.

Rybolovlev came under scrutiny in early 2017 after the 2005 tax returns of now-U.S. President Donald Trump revealed details of a real estate deal in Palm Beach, Florida.

In the transaction, the records indicated that the Russian billionaire bought a mansion for $41 million in a 2004 auction and sold it in 2008 for $95 million.

Some Trump critics questioned how a property's value could have risen so much during a real estate slump in the United States.

Rybolovlev has been listed by Forbes Magazine as the 242nd richest person in the world with an estimated $6.8 billion.

With reporting by TASS, The Independent, Mediapart, The Washington Post, and Football365