REUTERS

German authorities say they have seized properties worth 40 million euros ($45 million) and millions more in cash in an investigation linked to a big Russian money laundering scheme.

Federal investigators and Munich prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday the seizures of properties in central and southern Germany came after three years of investigating three individuals, whose identities weren't released. Some 6.7 million euros was also seized from German banks and another 1.2 million euros from a Latvian bank, The New York Times reported citing The Associated Press.

Prosecutors allege "income from money laundering in connection with the so-called Russian Laundromat was invested in high-value real estate" in Germany.

They say the scheme involved moving some $22 billion from Russia into Europe through banks in Moldova and Latvia using fictitious companies.