Article: London property used for money laundering

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London property used for money laundering

Compliance Alert, 03 April 2015

London is famed for providing a safe haven for foreign dissidents and refugees. It’s a hard-earned reputation going back to the French revolution and beyond. Then, as now, the super-rich who have fallen foul with their governments were among the influx. And then, as now, their reputations were not always immaculate.

But it has surely not often been the case that a millionaire alleged to have ordered an Englishman’s murder has ended up being exiled to a British mansion less than 60 miles away from the alleged intended victim’s home.

However, according to allegations in a High Court case coming up, that’s what has happened in the curious case of Maksim Bakiyev.

Mr Bakiyev, son of the ousted president of Kyrgyzstan, lives in a £3.5m mansion in the London suburbs. He lives here despite having been found guilty of attempted murder and corruption in his home country. He denies the claims and says they, and the prosecutions, were politically motivated.

Not far away from him, in Oxfordshire, lives Sean Daley, a businessman who claims Mr Bakiyev ordered a hit on him, in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, while he was helping a British company’s bid to win a gold mining licence in Kyrgyzstan. Mr Daley claims that while he was helping the British firm, he was critical of a rival bid partly backed by the oligarch Boris Berezovsky and Mr Bakiyev.

During the negotiation period, Mr Daley was shot and seriously wounded on his way home after spending the evening at a restaurant with friends. Shortly afterwards the mining licence was awarded to the rival bidder, according to court rulings in Kyrgyzstan.

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