London — In a bid to expose the murky Nigerian money lurking behind some of London’s most high-end properties, anti-corruption campaigners are offering an unusual property tour of the British capital.
As the coach carrying journalists and campaigners winds through luxurious west London, experts revealed the hidden world of misused public funds, unexplained wealth and the British “enablers” who make it happen.
The coach’s first stop was the multi-million pound home of “one of the biggest political movers” currently operating in Nigeria, who was named in the so-called “Panama Papers” leak that revealed the holders of offshore accounts in the tax haven.
One of the expert guides, journalist and author Oliver Bullough, said London had become the “Death Star” of global kleptocracy, which he defined as the stealing, hiding and spending of public money.
He explained that London was unique in being able to facilitate the final two steps in that process.
The British capital’s banking sector and overseas dependencies were able to hide dirty cash and its high-end estate agents were eager to convert the cash into properties, many of which remain empty, Bullough said.
The next stop takes in a luxury flat close to Marble Arch, which another of the expert guides, former US State Department intelligence expert Matthew Page, said belongs to a political leader implicated in fuel-subsidy and bribery scandals in Nigeria. The tours are organised by anti-corruption campaigner Roman Borisovich, who has specialised in exposing shady Russian money, and are held every few months.
Borisovich said he set up the tours “to attract public attention to the enormous proportions of money laundering that is being washed through UK properties”. — AFP