On Wednesday, May 13, 2005, at about 8 PM, hooded French policemen made, with the support of an helicopter, a search in the castle of Garoupe (Cap d’Antibes), property of Boris Berezovski. The French services didn’t expect to find the oligarch there, a man they had advised to leave France long ago. According to police sources, the search was aimed at determining if the property, valued at 22 million euros, had been obtained due to the money laundering coming from a misappropriation of funds in Aeroflot.
Boris Bérézovski told the newspaper Izvestia it was a political maneuver related to the recent visit of President Chirac to Moscow and the May 16 verdict against Mijail Khodorkhovski in the Yukos case. According to Berezovski, president Chirac feels a personal animosity towards him since the moment England granted him political asylum and, consequently, he conspires with president Putin to damage the image of the oligarchs.