24 Jul 2015

From Russia with cash

The Channel 4 documentary “From Russia With Cash” is about ‘Boris’ who is allegedly a Russian healthcare official whose work in drug procurement leads him ‘to get a little out of every contract’ and who wished to buy a property in London to hide his ill-gotten gains.

In an undercover investigation, journalists posing as a corrupt Russian politician and his girlfriend viewed five mansions in central London with price tags ranging from £3 million to £15 million.

Despite being told that the money being used was obtained illegally, the Channel 4 programme shows agents from reputable firms such as Winkworth, Chard, Domus Nova, Marsh & Parsons and Bective Leslie Marsh agreeing to move forward with the sales.

They even go as far as to offer advice on how Boris – the cover name used by investigator Roman Borisovich – can hide his criminal activity and complete the sale anonymously.

Chido Dunn, from campaign group Global Witness, said London has become ‘the money laundering capital of the world’. She added: ‘For as long as we allow dirty money to enter the UK we are effectively propping up a system overseas that is ruining lives, and [corrupt] systems.’

According to Transparency International:

36,342 London properties totalling 2.25 sq miles are held by offshore haven companies. Of these, 38% in the British Virgin Islands, 16% in Jersey, 9.5% in Isle of Man, and 9% in Guernsey.

In the documentary, every one of the real-estate agents cooperated with the ‘corrupt Boris’, even offering advice how to skirt the relevant laws to facilitate his aims.

I guess now, Ministers on a certain Rock will be buying London properties.