7 private jets, a Monet painting, and a £1 million Cartier diamond ring - here are some of the wildest purchases made with dirty money in the UK
- At least £325 billion ($418 billion) of dirty money has flooded into the UK over the last 30 years, according to an analysis of more than 400 corruption and money-laundering cases by Transparency International UK, an anti-corruption group.
- Transparency found the illicit cash passed through 86 banks and financial institutions, 81 law firms, 62 accountants, and more than 2,200 companies in Britain and its overseas territories.
- The dirty money was spent on 421 luxury homes, three superyachts, seven private jets, a £1 million Cartier diamond ring, a corporate box at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium, a Tom Ford crocodile-skin jacket and matching Chanel handbag, and other big-ticket goods and services, Transparency found.
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At least £325 billion ($418 billion) of dirty money has flooded into the UK over the last 30 years, according to an analysis of more than 400 cases by Transparency International UK, an anti-corruption group.
Transparency traced much of the cash to "laundromats" or money-laundering schemes in Moldova, Azerbaijan, and other former Soviet countries. The illicit funds passed through 86 banks and financial institutions, 81 law firms, 62 accountants, and more than 2,200 companies in Britain and its overseas territories, it found. Transparency also identified 17,000 shell companies used to deploy the funds, including 1,455 registered at a single office above a wine bar in Birmingham, according to The Guardian.The organization pinpointed several of the institutions that accepted the dirty money, including luxury sellers such as Harrods and Sotheby's, lenders such as Citigroup and the Royal Bank of Scotland, and schools such as the London School of Economics and Harrow.
"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," Duncan Hames, the group's director of policy, said in a statement to The Guardian.
Transparency has not accused any of the companies of wrongdoing.
Here are some of the biggest purchases outlined in the report:
- 421 luxury homes - £5 billion
- 3 superyachts - £237 million
- 7 private jets - £170 million
- Cartier diamond ring - £1 million
- Bentley Bentayga - £200,000
- Corporate box at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium -£126,000
- Tom Ford crocodile-skin jacket and matching Chanel handbag, bought at Harrods in London - £50,690
- Petit Nympheas by Claude Monet, bought at Sotheby's in London - £32 million
- Hovercraft - £34,827
- Fees for private schools including Harrow and Charterhouse - £2.8 million
- Tuition for universities including London School of Economics and University College London - £515,198
- Educational consultants to help secure admission - £330,523