The husband of one of the Conservative Party’s biggest donors was secretly funded by a Russian oligarchy with close ties to President Putin.
Lubov has paid 7 1.7 million to Chernukin Tories, including paying to spend time with the last three prime ministers.
The leaked files show her husband received 8m (6.1m). The money initially came from a politician facing US sanctions due to his closeness to the Kremlin.
His lawyers say donations have not been tarnished by the Kremlin’s influence.
Banks’ “suspicious operational statements” – also known as Finsen files and seen by the BBC Panorama – show that money was sent in 2016 from Vladimir Chernuk’s, a British Virgin Islands company affiliated with Suleiman Kerimo.
Officials at Deutsche Bank in New York said it was one of the $ 278.5 million transactions involving a foreign company.
In recent years, there has been a greater focus on donations to political parties from wealthy Russians in the UK. Parliamentary Report of the Investigation and Security Committee Refers to the possibility of allowing people to “assist in Russian influence activities.”
‘Inappropriate and Perfect Donors’
Millionaire Mr Kerimov is the owner of Russia’s largest gold mine and a member of the upper house of the Russian parliament. He has been under investigation in France for tax fraud since 2016.
He was allowed in by U.S. officials in 2018, targeting those they said were “playing a key role in Russia’s atrocities.”
Mr Chernukin, 52, a former finance minister under Vladimir Putin, left Russia for London in 2004 after being ousted by the president.
The Chernukkins, one of the most important Russian-born couples in the UK, are now British citizens and live in London.
Ms. Chernuk’s donations to the Conservative Party began in 2012.
The majority – more than 1.5 million m – came after Mr Kerimo paid her husband $ 8 million on April 29, 2016, although it is unclear if the money went to any Tories.
Ed Lucas, a journalist and Russian expert who provided evidence for the parliamentary inquiry into Russian influence, told Panorama: “The Chernukins, the sweetest people they can be, are not qualified and fit to make donations to a British political party.”
Mr Lucas said, “Not only Lubov Chernukin, but other wealthy Russians are deeply concerned about the Conservative Party’s approach to government.
The auction won
Ms. Chernuk’s donations to the Tories have provided access to top figures in the UK government.
In exchange for 5,000 to 135,000, in April 2019 Prime Minister Theresa May was invited to a women’s dinner at a luxury hotel with her cabinet. He is pictured above, fourth on the right.
Boris Johnson, 47, has won two bids for tennis matches. Finally, in February of this year, it cost her 000 45,000.
In 2014 he paid $ 160,000 to play tennis with Prime Minister David Cameron and later London Mayor Mr Johnson.
As of this year, she is the largest female donor in British history to the Tories. He has made a total of about $ 1.7 million over the past eight years, including 5,000 335,000 between January and July, according to Election Commission records.
In 2018, then-Secretary of State Boris Johnson was asked to donate செ 160,000 to the ன 160,000 tennis tournament. He told the BBC One’s Andrew Mar Show: “The gentleman … if there is evidence of total corruption in the way he got his wealth … our law enforcement agencies can snatch his wealth.”
But he said “all possible checks have been made on donations … will continue to be made.”
‘Property Projects Credit’
The payment of m 8 million to Mr Chernukin was made by a foreign company called Definition Services, which is controlled by Mr Kerimo’s children. The documents show that their finances came from their father, and that Mr. Kermov had a personal relationship with Mr. Chernukin.
While Deutsche Bank was processing the money, it sent questions to the officials of another bank involved in the transaction.
They said it was “a loan between two parties aimed at supporting the borrower’s more immovable property plans” and involved defining real estate investments.
Despite the response, Deutsche Bank filed a suspicious activity report (SAR), linked to Mr Kerimov and paid Mr Chernukin.
Deutsche said the definition “does not determine the business purpose of registered and high-risk jurisdictions and transactions and the relationship between the parties.”
What do we know about Chernukin’s finances?
Some of Mr Chernukin’s financial affairs have been made public as part of a long-running legal battle with Russian oligarch Oleg Deribaska over the ownership of a former industrial site in Moscow.
In proceedings in the High Court in London, he set up a foundation for his wife and another for the benefit of the couple.
Ms. Chernuk is described as a former banker.
He was listed as a director of four UK companies. One of them shares the same London correspondence described in the bank document relating to the payment of $ 8 million to her husband from definition services.
Lawyers for Chernukin have declined to say whether Mr Chernukin received $ 8 million.
But they said they had “never received money from Ms. Chernuk’s Mr. Kerimov or any of his associates” and that “his donations to the Conservative Party have never been tarnished by the Kremlin or any other influence.”
All of his donations have been declared in accordance with Election Commission rules.
Solomon Kerimov’s lawyers have denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Panorama have been made more than once.
A Conservative Party spokesman said: “In this country of Russian descent, British citizens and a political party have a democratic right to make donations.
Finsen files are leaks of confidential documents that reveal that major banks have allowed “dirty money” to move around the world. They reveal how US intelligence sees the UK as a “high-risk jurisdiction” and how it is bringing in Russian money from unexplained sources.
The files were obtained by BuzzFeed News, which shared it with the International Federation of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 400 journalists worldwide. Panorama led research for the BBC.
Finsen Files: Full Security; Follow Reactions on Twitter Using #FinCENFiles; In the BBC News app, “Finsen Files; Look at the panorama On the BBC iPlayer (UK viewers only).