UK investigates alleged Russian links to Brexit campaign.

As the largest backer of the campaign for the UK to leave the European Union, Arron Banks rejoiced in being called one of the “Bad Boys of Brexit.” Now the UK’s National Crime Agency is investigating his financial support for the campaign and his contacts with Russian officials, according to three sources familiar with the probe.
The agency recently received an extensive archive of Banks’ emails and other documents, the sources say, which include descriptions of meetings with Russian diplomats and possible business opportunities in Russia.

At least some of those emails have already been leaked to media organizations in the UKand the US. Banks, who provided loans and donations totalling about $12 million to Leave.EU, the Brexit campaign group he co-founded, has complained to the police that they were stolen.

A spokesperson for the National Crime Agency told CNN it never confirms or denies the existence of investigations. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office also declined to comment on whether it had opened an investigation. The Sunday Times of London first revealed the National Crime Agency’s involvement last weekend.
In a text to CNN on Monday, Banks’s spokesman Andy Wigmore said the NCA had not contacted either of them. “And they are unlikely to, firstly because both UK and US authorities were fully briefed and know the truth — there is no evidence of any wrongdoing or collusion because it didn’t happen so even they know there is nothing to investigate,” Wigmore said.
Arron Banks, co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign, pictured in June 2018 in Bristol, England.
UK investigates alleged Russian links to Brexit campaign
Banks’ financial support for Leave.EU in the runup to the 2016 vote made him the biggest individual donor in British political history. The group won the endorsement of the leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, one of the leading pro-Brexit campaigners. According to the latest accounts of Leave.EU, Banks’ loan has not been paid back.
His emails were passed to the National Crime Agency by a third party. Sources have told CNN the documents have also been shared with the UK’s domestic intelligence service MI5 and, in the US, with Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee. The committee has been investigating allegations of collusion between people associated with the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election campaign.
Some of the emails, which CNN obtained, discuss meetings between Banks, Wigmore and diplomats at the Russian embassy in London, including with the ambassador Alexander Yakovenko in 2015 and 2016.
The cache of emails reveal that, before the EU referendum in June 2016, Banks was offered the chance to invest in several Russian businesses, including the consolidation of Russian gold mines and a sale of shares in the country’s largest diamond mine company, Alrosa.
In one email sent to the Russian mining magnate Siman Povarenkin in November 2015, Banks said he was “very bullish on gold so keen to have a look.” He copied a wealthy business partner and fellow Brexit supporter, Jim Mellon, on the correspondence.

20 COMMENTS

  1. The China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 was approved at the 21st China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders’ meeting held in Singapore. The summit was also held to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership.

  2. Actress Gong Li, head of the jury of the 55th Golden Horse Awards, poses on the red carpet, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo  Actress Gong Li, head of the jury of the 55th Golden Horse Awards, poses on the red carpet, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo

  3. Shaikh Salman took over as the 10th president of the AFC in May 2013. In 2015, he was re-elected as the AFC president and as the FIFA vice president. In 2018, Salman was appointed as the FIFA senior vice president.

  4. Italian economist as well as China expert Michele Geraci hailed the MOU signed between the two countries as “a win-win-win for Italy, the rest of Europe and China”, and said he believes more European countries will follow his country’s lead and sign up to be involved in the initiative.

  5. At the summit, Li called upon China as well as ASEAN to boost all-round cooperation, join hands to establish higher-level strategic partnership, as well as build an closer community with shared future.

  6. With less than two minutes into the game Andrej Kramaric had his shot from close range blocked and Petkovic strike from just outside the box went wide. Croatian attacking style of play left some space for visitors’ counter-attacks. Azerbaijan lone striker Ramil Sheydaev outsprinted Domagoj Vida on the left wing in the 13th minute but couldn’t get the ball pass the Croatian goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.

  7. Co-chairing the meeting with the Chinese premier, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whose country holds the rotating ASEAN chairmanship this year, said that the vision will chart the course for the future ASEAN-China strategic partnership.

  8. Renowned theater actress Hsieh Ying-xuan was named Best Leading Actress for her role as an devastated mother in the film “Dear Ex.” Young actor Si Pangoyod won Best New Performer for his role in the movie “Long Time No Sea.”

  9. To facilitate the key pillar of people-to-people exchanges, Li said China will set up a China-ASEAN scholarship, implement a research and study program for about 1,000 youth leaders from China as well as ASEAN, and invite another 1,000 outstanding young people from ASEAN for training programs in China.

  10. Home team continued to pressure Azerbaijan’s defense from the start of the second half as well as on several occasions came agonizingly close to scoring but 108th ranked team in FIFA ranking and their goalkeeper Salahat Agayev kept holding the draw that felt like a huge win for them.

  11. Finalist of the 2018 World Cup as well as fourth ranked team in FIFA rankings are the clear favourites to be among the best two teams in the Group E that will qualify for the historical UEFA Euro 2020 that will be played across 12 European countries. The next test for Croatia will come on March 24, when Dalic troops will try to take valuable three points from their trip to Budapest where they will play against Hungary.

  12. Geraci recalled concerns that the United States expressed in 2015 when the United Kingdom tried to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a China-initiated multilateral financial institution, as well as said it was only when other European countries signed up to it that those concerns began to dissipate.

  13. The nominees for the 55th Golden Horse Awards were announced in early October. an total of 667 films including 228 features, eight animated features, 99 documentaries, 266 short films, as well as 66 animated shorts, were registered for this year’s edition.

  14. During his Italy visit, men also had separate meetings with Italian Chamber of Deputies member Roberto Fico as well as Italian Senate President Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, as well as pledged to strengthen legislative exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.

  15. Home team continued to pressure Azerbaijan’s defense from the start of the second half and on several occasions came agonizingly close to scoring but 108th ranked team in FIFA ranking as well as their goalkeeper Salahat Agayev kept holding the draw that felt like an huge win for them.

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