Russian oligarchs keep five times more money in British offshore banks than in the UK itself, according to a report by the NGO Global Witness. The total amount of funds that Russians keep in offshore British territories, like the Virgin and Cayman Islands is 34 billion pounds sterling (47 billion US dollars).
As the NGO notes, this is five times the amount of Russian money deposited in banks in the UK itself. Some 30 out of 34 billion pounds are located on the British Virgin Islands alone. In the last decade, according to Global Witness, 110 billion pounds passed through British territories from Russia.
This means that the UK has become the second most important location for Russian offshore investment after Cyprus.
The new report comes against the backdrop of the scandal surrounding the poisoning in Britain of the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia. A group of British parliamentarians intends to demand a bill that will oblige the overseas territories of Britain to disclose the identity of businessmen who keep assets in the UK.
Currently, the Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands are exempt from this requirement, which is in operation throughout the UK.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, in response to the Skripal poisoning, has already promised to freeze all the funds of the Russian oligarchs in the country. “there is no place for these people – or their money – in our country,” she said