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Plaid Cymru MP calls on UK Gov to crack down on Russian oligarchs’ use of British tax havens

28 Feb 2022 2 minute read
Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts in the House of Commons.

A Plaid Cymru MP has called on the UK Government to crack down on Russian oligarchs using British tax havens.

The pro-independence party’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts, urged the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, to do so following the unprovoked attack on Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s regime.

She wants to see crack down on Russia’s use of British overseas territories to conceal illicit funds, particularly in relation to aircrafts.

The UK has banned all scheduled services operated by aircraft owned, operated, leased, or registered in Russia in its airspace as of 25 February.

Ms Saville Roberts highlighted, however, that IBA data shows that 713 leased Russian aircraft are registered in Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory.

In the decade to 2018, Global Witness found that more than seven times more money flowed from Russia to the British tax havens than to mainland UK.

Over this period, £68 billion from Russia was invested in British Overseas Territories – British Virgin Islands (BVI) was the second most popular destination for money leaving Russia, second only to Cyprus.

‘Divest’ 

The Plaid Cymru MP also welcomed BP’s decision to divest from Rosneft, a move she urged the Prime Minister to support on Tuesday 22 February.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “I welcome BP’s decision to divest from Rosneft after I raised this issue with the Prime Minister last week.

“International sanctions now include Russia’s civilian aircraft fleet. The UK has a part to play in their enforcement since as of yesterday, 713 leased Russian aircraft are registered in Bermuda – a British overseas territory.

“For far too long, weak UK regulation of ‘Londongrad’ and tax-haven overseas territories has enabled Putin’s regime. What discussions she has had with British Overseas Territories to ensure the immediate effective implementation of sanctions against Russia?”

In response, Liz Truss said that she is “working closely with the Overseas Territories to ensure that Putin’s oligarchs have nowhere to hide”.


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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 months ago

Well done to Liz Saville Roberts for raising this. It has been far too easy for Russian (and others!)rich and tax evading to use these tax havens to launder their dirty money. This needs to stop. The rich and powerful need to be held to account.

hdavies15
hdavies15
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

I’m glad that you included “and others” in your comment. When it comes to “mitigating” taxes there are wealthy Brits involved just as much as Russian crooks. As far as I’m concerned the whole lot should get shut down. ln this modern computerised age it shouldn’t be beyond HMRC ‘s collective wit to analyse the histories of these crooks and claim back all tax monies evaded by using havens and other devices. Wales and the rest of the UK needs this money to fund services which are falling apart due to underinvestment. I don’t mean bigger salaries for top cats… Read more »

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I agree totally.

Henry Harris
Henry Harris
6 months ago

This issue would of and has been raised anyhow by other m.p’s of numerous other parties. Would Plaid Cymru consider commenting on their multiple mentions on the now banned Russian broadcaster RT? No I didn’t think so. I’m born in Bangor. Raised in Menai Bridge. A Welsh speaker who voted Tory on Anglesey and in favour of Brexit too. I don’t agree with vast unaudited, unaccountable sums of money being spent on Welsh language translations. I also don’t agree with public sector appointments being awarded to people simply on a basis of being fluent within a minority language. I also… Read more »

Leigh Richardss
Leigh Richardss
6 months ago
Reply to  Henry Harris

Its the tory uk govt at westminster, and which you say you voted for, which allows putin’s propaganda machine Russia Today to broadcast in the uk. But then that’s hardly surprising given that Russia Today spewed out the lies and disinformation of the leave side that was backed by the current uk tory leadership during the eu referendum. And if you really lived in gwynedd you’d know that Welsh was the first language of over two thirds of people in the county. If youre going to continue to troll on this site with fake accounts it’s important to try to… Read more »

R W
R W
6 months ago

Indeed, and let’s not forget how much money the Tories have received from Russian oligarchs.

R W
R W
6 months ago
Reply to  Henry Harris

It’s “would have”, not “would of”. No more comment needed.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

The Conservatives will use almost any sly trick in the book to hide their dirty Russian money. The Tories coffers is awash with Oligarch money. Their motto: “You scratch our backs and we’ll give you a peerage & London tax haven.”

Last edited 6 months ago by Y Cymro

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