Javad Marandi, Donor of Conservative Party Identified in Massive Money Laundering Probe

May 16, 2023

Javad Marandi, a renowned philanthropist and UK-based businessman who co-chairs the Marandi Foundation alongside his wife has been recently revealed in a global Money Laundering Investigation. Marandi tried hard to remain anonymous in a legal case that proceeded for 19 months and lost it against National Crime Agency (NCA).

The probe found that Morandi’s overseas businesses were involved in money laundering in connection with Azerbaijani businesses.

Marandi has strongly denied the charges and is not indicted to any sanction yet. But, the judgment itself has set a course for pacing up the privacy laws and tightening the AML laws.

National Crime Agency (NCA) Investigation Details

The NCA’s investigation found Javad Marandi’s international business interests and their link to the money laundering scheme connected to Azerbaijani Oligarch.

In January 2022, the judge permitted the NCA to a seizure worth 5.6 million pounds from the family of Javanshir Feyziyev, a member of the Azerbaijani parliament soon after the family’s British accounts were credited with funds directly involved in money laundering. The family also denied the charges and Mr. Marandi was granted anonymity during the hearing in October 2021.

But recently, the High Court judges gave a ruling according to which Mr. Marandi is now a part of NCA’s ongoing investigation in the world-famous Money Laundering case.

It is also to be noted that Marandi’s ties with the conservative party as their top donor have also raised questions about the party’s due diligence and compliance.

The OCCRP (Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) revealed $2.9 billion stolen from Azerbaijani people was distributed among the elite class including bribes to the European Politicians.

Paul Radu, the co-founder of OCCRP said “The Laundromat scheme brought economic destruction on many levels for Azerbaijan, The EU, and the US as well. Small businesses have faced huge monetary losses with banks due to the Laundromat scheme.”

Duncan Hames’s Concern

Duncan Hames, the Director of policy at Transparency International UK showed concern about the conservative party’s compliance and due diligence. He has referred to the case as a ‘political bombshell’ because the party’s significant donor has now been identified to be a part of the investigation of a major money laundering scheme. He stressed upon the need for scrutiny of the sources of funds of this political party. He said that it is insufficient to just check the electoral roll status in this regard.

Overview of Legal Proceedings

District Judge John Zani found out that a notable amount of funds was moved into the bank accounts from the criminal enterprise where these accounts belonged to Glasgow-registered shell companies.

Some of this cash was also moved into Marandi’s and Javanshir’s accounts.

After the court’s orders to seize millions of dollars belonging to Javanshir’s family in British bank accounts, BBC and London Evening Standard debated on the notion of disclosing this information of Marandi’s involvement publicly or not.

In May 2022, Judge Zani kept the public’s interest under consideration and ruled that Marandi could be named as a person of importance in this case. In response, Javad Marandi challenged the court’s decision and got a review from the high court.

Finally, last month two of the competent judges said that the media could name Marandi. Justice Mostyn was surprised that why anonymity was given to Marandi in the first place and cited this as an unfair judgment.

Source: Javad Marandi: Tory donor’s link to massive money laundering probe – BBC News

Credit: By Steve Swann and Dominic Casciani BBC News