London remains a safe haven for the world’s dirty cash

Britain’s denial that it launders money is like Russia’s denial that it poisons spies. No one believes a word of it. If I walked into my bank and tried to deposit £55m, I would be asked to see the manager, if not the police. But if I were to shift such sums through a Belgravia flat or a West End jeweller or an offshore tax haven, I would be offered a tier 1 golden visa and honoured status as an inward investor. It is McMafia stream this way, sir, no questions asked. Eat your heart out, Polish plumber.

I have some sympathy for Zamira Hajiyeva, who this week had her right to financial privacy stripped by the high court. Her husband, imprisoned in their native Azerbaijan for fraud, is what her lawyer called a “fat cat international banker”, which he

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