How ‘dirty money’ from Russia flooded into the UK – and where it went

Investigators in eastern Europe have uncovered a trail that leads to fur brokers, Bond Street jewellers and even a Somerset school

Flying Rubles Photograph: selensergen/Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s a dreamy English view. From the top of Glastonbury Tor, you can see green fields and the Somerset levels. Below is a school.

There is a sports field, boarding houses and pleasant private woods. There is a golf course and a swimming pool. This is Millfield, one of Britain’s most prestigious and expensive schools.

Most parents who send children to Millfield are rich. Some work in the City; others are wealthy foreigners attracted by the lure of a UK education. In September 2011, the school sent a bill to the father of a 12-year-old pupil. The pupil came from Russia. The bill for a term’s fees came to £10,943.

What happened next was not – on the face of it – unusual. An anonymous shell company was used to pay the invoice. The company’s name was Valemont Properties Ltd. It was registered at Companies House in London and filed regular if un-illuminating tax returns. It had directors.

And it was solvent: the cash from Valemont went via a Latvian bank to Millfield’s account with Lloyds TSB in Street, the sleepy village where Millfield’s senior school is based. (The junior or prep school is on a separate site outside Glastonbury.) There was nothing here to trouble the school bursar, who did nothing wrong.

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Source By https://www.theguardian.com

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