UK: Tory Donor Javad Marandi Named In Money Laundering Probe
On Tuesday, Javad Marandi, a multi-millionaire Conservative Party donor, lost a 19-month legal battle against the BBC to remain anonymous in an investigation concerning global money laundering.
- On Tuesday, Javad Marandi, a multi-millionaire Conservative Party donor, lost a 19-month legal battle against the BBC to remain anonymous in an investigation concerning global money laundering.1
- A 2021 court order allowed Marandi to keep his anonymity, however, the latest ruling allowed the media outlet to name the businessman as either owning or being connected to companies involved in a “criminal enterprise“ of moving illicit funds globally.2
- The judgment shows that Marandi received $49M directly from a company’s bank account used “to launder the proceeds of crime.” One of his companies also received $107M from the same account.3
- According to documents filed by the National Crime Agency in a forfeiture case, Marandi received $210M cumulatively from offshore companies under the Azerbaijani Laundromat money laundering scheme.4
- Though Marandi has not been charged with any crimes, the BBC, which filed the case to reveal Marandi’s identity along with the Evening Standard, described the ruling as a “milestone for freedom of the press.”5
- Records show that Marandi — who denies involvement in any money laundering scheme — gave more than £663K (about $825K) to the Conservative Party between 2014 and 2020.6
Sources: 1BBC News, 2Style, 3Evening Standard, 4OCCRP, 5Press Gazette, and 6Sky News.
- Narrative A, as provided by People World. This is just the kind of revelation the conservatives could have done without following their appalling performance in the local elections earlier this month. Clearly, Marandi has been using his wealth to corrupt the Tories and exert political influence, thereby undermining British democracy. PM Sunak and his party must take a closer look at their donors if they want to rehabilitate their reputation among the electorate.
- Narrative B, as provided by BBC News. These revelations do not only pertain to the Tories — all UK political parties must improve their scrutiny of donors and make more considered assessments of the role money is allowed to play in politics under current regulations. The Labour Party can be equally as obstructive about funding and the access to parliamentary members enabled by donor status as the government. The UK is heading towards the next general election and voters will want to see their representatives be more discerning and considered in the role they play as part of the democratic system on both sides of the chamber.