Five London properties accused of being bought with dirty money

An anti-corruption watchdog has singled out the properties

Feb.February 25, 2018 04:59 PM

(Credit from back: Google Maps, Molly/Flickr)

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International singled out five properties from the £4.4 billion real estate portfolio it estimates has been bought with illegally-got funds. Authorities estimate about £90 billion is laundered via the U.K. each year.

The group has been campaigning since 2014 for British authorities to take action, however new anti-money laundering rules known as unexplained wealth orders have recently come into effect with a lot of talk from the country’s security minister about enforcing them.

Here’s a look at the London properties the organization considers slam dunks for the government to seize or freeze. — Erin Hudson

1. Kenwood Gate, Hampstead Lane

(Credit: © Copyright Christine Matthews)

Estimated value: £18 million
The group believes the property is owned by the First family of Azerbaijan. The the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) traced ownership of the mansion back to President Ilham Aliyev’s family and estimates the family’s net worth to be around £100 million, with about £41 million of that funneled into London real estate.

2. 138 A and B, 4 Whitehall Court

(Credit: Google Maps)

Estimated value: £11.44 million
Property records trace ownership of the two properties back to Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. In 2014, when he was identified as the owner, his wife and he had declared a joint income of £634,000.

3. Down House and Fairview on Chestnut Avenue, Guildford

(Credit: Google Maps)

Estimated value: £1 million
A 2016 BuzzFeed investigation traced property records to Ahmed Mahmoud Azwai, a former Major General during Muammar Qaddafi’s regime who would have earned a standard declared annual salary of about £4,000.

4. 7-8 Whittaker Street, Belgravia

(Credit: Google Maps)

Estimated value: £15 million
Records made public in the Panama Papers revealed the properties were owned by companies controlled by the wife of the President of the Nigerian Senate Bukola Saraki, who has a track record of declaring large personal wealth with the scant explanation of “business.”

5. 16-16A and 17-17A Avenfield House, Park Lane

Estimated value: £8 million
When Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was removed from office last year after failing to disclose owning these properties.

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