"We would like to inform you that a pre-trial investigation was opened on August 2 under Article 216 of the Criminal Code (the legalization of illegal proceeds). The investigation is being carried out by the Financial Crime Investigation Service and organized by a prosecutor from the Prosecutor General's Office's Department of Criminal Prosecution," Rita Stundiene, spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General's Office, told the website.

Based on the information available to 15min, the investigation was launched in response to a statement by a Russian lawyer Mark Feigin who alleged that Shariy, as a resident of Lithuania, may have been carrying out unregistered activities, receiving undeclared income from unclear sources in Russia and not paying taxes since 2012.

Shariy now lives in Spain. Having fled Ukraine, the man, introducing himself as a journalist, was detained in Spain in May at Ukraine's request and later released on a promise not to leave. He's now awaiting a court decision on his extradition to Ukraine.

Shariy has been amassing an audience of millions of Russian speakers and assets in Spain for the past 10 years, using the asylum and residence permit granted to him by Lithuania, 15min reports.

Shariy lost his political asylum status in Lithuania in January when the Migration Department, after various appeals, started checking information about him, and the State Security Department subsequently concluded that his presence constituted a threat to Lithuania's security.

In June, the Migration Department banned Shariy from coming to Lithuania.

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