Oligarchs Assets

Sadiq Khan’s Plan to Seize £1 Billion in Property Owned by Russian Oligarchs in London

Sadiq Khan has called for the government to seize London property owned by corrupt Russian oligarchs and sell it off to fund 4,000 homes.

The Roadmap of Sadiq Khan’s £1 Billion Property Seizure Plan

The mayor Sadiq Khan proposed selling assets valued at £1.1 billion to fund affordable housing for Ukrainian refugees in London. This suggestion follows Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s call for frozen Russian assets to be confiscated to support Ukraine’s war efforts.

The Labour mayor is also demanding the introduction of an ‘overseas buyers levy’ that could raise £370 million a year and go towards new council and affordable homes.

Khan claims this could protect the London housing market from exploitation by the Russian President’s supporters long-term.

Transparency International estimate that £1.1 billion worth of London property is owned by Russians accused of corruption or links to the Kremlin.

As people worldwide commemorated the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of supporters marched in London in solidarity with Ukraine’s defense against Russia.

In a letter addressed to Michael Gove, the secretary of state for levelling up, housing, and communities, Mayor Khan expressed appreciation for the government’s efforts to seize properties owned by Vladimir Putin’s associates. However, he emphasized that these actions were insufficient and urged for more comprehensive measures.

The mayor expressed concerns about potential hidden property ownership through financial trust schemes and urged for measures to address this issue.

Additionally, Sadiq Khan advocated for the reopening of the Ukraine Family visa scheme, which the government has announced it is winding down. Describing the closure of the scheme as cruel, Mr. Khan emphasized the importance of supporting refugees, noting that they can still come to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

In his letter, Mr. Khan emphasized the need for stronger action to address the housing market’s exploitation by international oligarchs and to raise funds to alleviate the housing crisis, particularly acute in London. He reiterated his previous proposals for the government to seize property assets held by Putin’s allies and establish an effective register of overseas property beneficial ownership.

Sadiq Khan welcomed the establishment of a register of overseas entities involved in property transactions in the UK, but expressed shared concerns with campaigners that these transparency measures might not be comprehensive enough. He emphasized the need for greater transparency to uncover overseas purchases that could facilitate offenses such as tax evasion and money laundering, as well as conceal assets of individuals who might face potential sanctions.

Particularly, Sadiq Khan highlighted the continued use of financial trusts to obscure property ownership as a point of concern.

He further stated, “New City Hall analysis indicates that if the £1.1 billion worth of property identified by Transparency International in 2022, purchased by Russians accused of corruption or Kremlin ties, could be sold, it would yield adequate funding for over 4,000 low-cost homes.”

Sadiq Khan emphasized the urgency of seizing properties purchased by Putin’s allies to utilize the proceeds for the benefit of those in need, including providing affordable accommodation for Ukrainian refugees in London. While he welcomed the government’s recent steps, he stressed that they fell short of addressing the full extent of the issue.

He requested confirmation from the government on the number and value of properties seized, according to official records.

Expressing alarm at the closure of the Ukraine Family Scheme, Mr. Khan underscored the importance of maintaining safe routes for Ukrainians and their families fleeing war and seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Sadiq Khan reiterated the importance of allowing Ukrainians enduring unimaginable horror in their homeland to reunite with family members already finding refuge in the UK. As Mayor of London, he emphasized the city’s continued welcome to those seeking sanctuary, urging government ministers to provide similar assurances without delay.

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