Top Brexiteer Aaron Banks investigated over illegal donations claims

Top Brexiteer Aaron Banks investigated over illegal donations claims

Top Brexiteer Aaron Banks investigated over illegal donations claims

This is, for now at least, the core allegation against Banks, and what the electoral commission means when it says Banks was "not the true source" of the funds: it is not (yet) accusing Banks of acting as a front for someone else, but rather saying he dishonestly funded pro-leave campaigns from a company which could not legally do so.

Mr Banks said the Commission had referred him to the NCA under "intense political pressure" from anti-Brexit supporters.

"Isn't it amusing that none of the financial contributions made by George Soros to British political campaigns are ever subject to any level of scrutiny by the Electoral Commission despite his being a foreign national", Banks said.

On Thursday, Banks claimed there was "no evidence of any wrongdoing" by the companies he owns and denied he had been the recipient of any donations from "foreign" sources.

Leave.EU's chief executive Liz Bilney, who is also under investigation, said all of the money had come from Mr Banks and he was the "ultimate beneficial owner" of the companies which loaned it.

The Electoral Commission said it had "reasonable grounds to suspect that Mr Banks was not the true source of the £8m loans made to Better for the Country".

In July, a United Kingdom parliamentary committee said it was "unclear" where Banks had obtained the money he donated to the Leave campaign and whether he had "profited from business deals arising from meetings arranged by Russian officials". "Rock holdings is a company I own and control and I'm a United Kingdom tax payer, no Russian or foreign money has ever come into it". This follows our acceptance of a referral of material from the Electoral Commission. Now Aaron [sic] Banks is under investigation because Leave.EU stands accused of spending foreign money. "The Electoral Commission has produced no evidence to the contrary", added Mr Banks.

Loans to Better for the Country, on behalf of Leave.EU involved a non-qualifying or impermissible company - Rock Holdings Limited, which is incorporated in the Isle of Man.

But now the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has begun a probe.

It believes a number of criminal offences may have been committed.

LONDON - One of the main funders of the Brexit campaign, the businessman Arron Banks, has been referred to the National Crime Agency over "multiple suspected offences" relating to funding during the European Union referendum campaign.

In a statement, Banks said: "I am pleased that the Electoral Commission has referred me to the National Crime Agency".

The NCA said it would not normally investigate such matters, but that the "nature" of inquiries and "potential for offences to have been committed other than under electoral law " warranted its intervention.

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