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Kremlin confidants own thousands of properties in Britain


Magnates from many countries have poured money of dubious origin into property in Britain. According to a report by Transparency International, quite a few of them belong to the Kremlin's orbit.

Luxury property in London: Companies should disclose ownership


Almost 52,000 properties in the UK are owned by anonymous investors, some close to the Russian government, according to Transparency International UK.

According to a report published by the organization on Tuesday, the properties have a total value of more than 7.5 billion euros.

In particular, luxury real estate in London was bought with "suspicious money" via opaque offshore companies.

More than a fifth of the sum invested in British property, around £1.5 billion, is "money from suspicious sources in Russia," the report goes on to say.

This also involves people “who are subject to sanctions and are close to the Kremlin”.

Businesses ignore regulations

According to Transparency, the owners of the properties in focus also include Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his wife and Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva, as well as Angola's former Vice President Manuel Domingos Vicente.

Great Britain is regularly criticized for not doing enough to stem the flow of money from dubious sources into the country.

In view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, London had stepped up its pace and passed a law last year that forces companies to disclose who actually owns assets located in Great Britain.

However, according to Transparency International, "almost half of the companies" that should disclose their owners had not done so by the Jan. 31 deadline.

The companies concerned "either completely ignored the law or provided information that makes it impossible for the public to find out who owns them."

According to Transparency, the companies are “partly owned by kleptocrats, oligarchs and people subject to sanctions”.

Transparency International called on the government in London to close loopholes in the fight against money laundering and to actively enforce the rules that have been passed.

Revealing who owns property assets in the UK is "hugely important to changing Britain's role as a dirty money hub."


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2023-02-07

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