UK turns blind eye to 'dirty Russian money'

13:00 • 22.05.18



The UK has been accused of turning a "blind eye" to Russia's "dirty money", putting national security at risk.


The Commons foreign affairs committee said London was being used to hide the "corrupt assets" of President Vladimir Putin and his allies.


It said it was "business as usual" for the UK despite the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, BBC News reports.


This is thought to have undermined the UK's efforts to confront the full spectrum of President Putin's offensive measures, it said.


The UK's "lethargic response is being taken as proof that we don't dare stop them... London's markets are enabling the Kremlin's efforts," committee chairman and Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat wrote in the Sunday Times, ahead of the publication of the report.

 

Security and economic crime minister Ben Wallace said he had not been called to give evidence to the committee: "I fear such an omission weakens the foundation of the report," he said.

 

Mr Wallace said the UK was "determined to drive dirty money and the money launderers out".


"[We] will use all the powers we have, including the new powers in the Criminal Finance Act, to clamp down on those that threaten our security," he added.


Mr Tungendhat said ministers should investigate "gaps" in the sanctions regime which allows the Russian government and individuals linked to President Putin to continue to raise funds in the City.


The report, named Moscow's Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK, points out that Russian gas giant Gazprom was able to trade bonds in London "days after the attempted murders" of Mr Skripal and his daughter.

 





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