UK's new "Kleptocracy Unit" has launched an investigation to identify assets that are allegedly being kept by Russian President Vladimir Putin in London.

A report by The Telegraph cited National Crime Agency (NCA) sources and said that Putin has stashed away assets worth millions of dollars in London, and that the agency is working with other intelligence agencies to track down the money.

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"There are people working there now. This is what the 'kleptocracy' team will devote its time to. The unit will track down Putin's money and that of his cronies," said the report.

"We will use all legislative options and tactics available to the agency to prosecute corrupt elites who launder their assets in the UK," an NCA spokesperson told the publication.

Putin's official declared yearly income is a salary of about 10 million roubles (around £70,000). Since the UK government has already placed him under sanctions, the NCA can freeze his assets immediately if they find something.

Meanwhile, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Minister, has said that Putin does not have any assets in the UK or anywhere else abroad.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced the formation of a new "Kleptocracy Cell to target sanctions evasion and corrupt Russian assets hidden in the UK," after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 this year.

"This hideous and barbarous venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure," he said to the parliament. The UK has imposed a series of sanctions against Russia which includes the ban on the exports of luxury goods to Russia alongside G7 allies.

It has also denied Russia and Belarus access to the Most Favoured Nation tariff for hundreds of their exports. The five Russian banks targeted under UK sanctions include Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank, and the Black Sea Bank.

The British government announced sanctions
The British government announced sanctions on five Russian banks and three billionaire Kremlin allies after troops were ordered into two pro-Moscow regions in Ukraine Photo: PRU via AFP