Russian oligarchs have invested more than €350 million euros in French luxury real estate, most of the time without attracting a scintilla of scrutiny about the source of the funds.

Many even used their own names to buy properties — names that could end up on sanctions lists following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The findings of this cross-border investigation are based on official documents found on government websites, but it doesn’t seem the questionable source of cash has attracted the attention of the French authorities in most cases.

This is the first instalment in a two-part series on money laundering in France to be published in the French weekly magazine L’Obs. Stay tuned for part two.

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