‘It is still far too easy for criminals and the corrupt to seek impunity with the assistance of UK businesses,’ Transparency International head says
UNDREDS of British companies and individuals are linked to corruption and money laundering, a major new study by Transparency International-UK (TI-UK) has found.
Posh private schools such as Charterhouse, where Tory MP Jeremy Hunt was educated, and Harrow, whose alumni include Winston Churchill, are alleged to have unwittingly received millions in dirty money.
More than £4.1m in suspicious funds were paid to 178 different British educational institutions from “industrial-scale money laundering operations.”
TI-UK claimed today that this cash “found its way to prestigious independent schools like Charterhouse and Harrow, and world-class universities.”
In May, the National Crime Agency seized more than £20,000 from University of the Arts London graduate Aniseh Chawkat, a niece of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad, because her family members were under international sanctions.
Law firms, banks and accountancy firms were also linked to global money laundering operations worth £325 billion, the anti-corruption charity claimed today after reviewing 400 graft cases around the world and tracing their links to Britain.
These included Mexican drug lord El Chapo and his Sinaloa cartel, and “state looting” by former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.
TI-UK’s policy director Duncan Hames said: “We’ve known for a long time that the UK’s world-class services have attracted a range of clients, including those who have money and pasts to hide.
“Now, for the first time, we have shed light on who these companies are and how they have become entangled in some of the biggest corruption scandals of our time.”
The charity’s CEO, Daniel Bruce, commented: “Government and law enforcement agencies have made real progress in recent years to reduce the places for corrupt individuals to hide, yet our findings confirm it is still far too easy for criminals and the corrupt to seek impunity with the assistance of UK businesses.
“Businesses and government should redouble their efforts, through resource and will, to remove the helping hand for those who have abused positions of power and stolen from their people.”
A spokeswoman from Harrow School told the Morning Star: “We never comment on matters concerning pupils, but note the report emphasises that neither we, nor any of the other institutions mentioned are implicated in any wrongdoing.”
Courtesy: Morning Star