A Finance Uncovered investigation today reveals details about a royal-backed UK charity accused of bolstering the regime that runs one of Africa’s most authoritarian and kleptocratic countries.

The findings centre on the City of London-registered Brazzaville Foundation, fronted by the Queen’s controversial cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, as its patron. Read More

Finance Uncovered worked with The Times in London and journalists and activists in its international network to produce an investigation showing how a British commodities firm and its former chief executive received millions of pounds from one of the biggest corporate bribery scandals in history.

The Times ran this news piece that splashed its Business section and a two-page 1600-word spread inside here.

Our partners in Nigeria, Premium Times, ran its version of the story here. It was bylined by Oladeinde Olawoyin, who attended our illicit finance training course in London in September 2018. Read More

 

We discovered the family of Igor Shuvalov, Russia’s former deputy first prime minister, owned a villa on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah worth around $8m.

Through public records searches and correspondence with the family’s spokesman, we were able to trace the chains of ownership which linked a Mayfair company and various members of the Shuvalov family.

Ownership structures shifted through time as the villa was gifted between members of the family informed by new rules governing foreign company ownership were introduced in Russia.

We initially established the Shuvalov family ownership of the Dubai villa thanks to leaked files shared with C4ADS, a US non-profit which analyzes data, and reports on global conflict and transnational security issues. These files were investigated by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and Finance Uncovered.

This story taught us much about the distinctions of beneficial and legal ownership, the legal implications of Putin’s “de-offshorisation” drive, and how a villa’s proximity to the tip of a frond increases its value.

Or, as we put it, How to inherit a villa, Kremlin style.

Read our story here.

Bosses at Berkeley Group, the phenomenally successful housebuilder, were accused by their own former finance director of repeatedly bribing a partner at a major estate agent, of corporate tax evasion and of unlawfully disclosing price sensitive information – allegations he made in an extraordinary lawsuit that he brought against the company. Read More