PARIS – French police have detained a Russian lawmaker as part of a probe into suspected laundering of tax fraud proceeds.
A prosecutor told The Associated Press Tuesday that Suleiman Kerimov, a Russian billionaire who has a seat in the upper house of Russian parliament, has been detained in Nice.
Kerimov was arrested at Nice airport on Monday night and put in custody for questioning in the case, Nice prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre said.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday night it has notified France that Kerimov has diplomatic immunity.
Kerimov shot to fame in the soccer world in 2011 when he bought Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and went on a spectacular spending spree.
However, Kerimov abruptly slashed his financing for the team in August 2013 with little explanation. He sold Anzhi last year.