Intelligence and Security Committee

  1. Russian oligarchs welcomed to 'Londongrad with open arms’

    Sam Francis

    BBC News, London

    Vladimir Putin

    London was allowed to become a "laundromat" for illicit finance, according to an inquiry.

    The Intelligence and Security Committee's long-awaited report into Russian activity in the UK said oligarchs were drawn to “Londongrad” due to "light touch" business regulation and the capital's housing market.

    London "offered ideal mechanisms by which illicit finance could be recycled through what has been referred to as the London ‘laundromat’," the report found.

    Successive governments welcomed Russian oligarchs "with open arms" due to the investments they brought with them, the report said.

    Few asked questions about the "provenance of this considerable wealth".

    The Government hoped developing links with major Russian companies would promote good governance by encouraging ethical and transparent practices, and the adoption of a law-based commercial environment.

    Instead the arrival of Russian money has resulted in a growth of “enablers” including lawyers, accountants and estate agents who wittingly or unwittingly became "de facto agents" of Russian state.

    In a statement the Government said: "tackling illicit finance and driving dirty money and money launderers out of the UK is a priority."

  2. Video content

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