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