Be careful lest you be judged by the friends you keep

East Devon Watch yesterday:

“Lord Barker appears to have a very strong connection to our East Devon MP Hugo Swire with another energy company in which he and Hugo Swire appear to be the only two directors – a company which does not appear to be on Swire’s current Register of Interests, though he is shown as an active director.

Lord Barker and Hugo Swire are named as directors of: Eaglesham Investments.
Lord Barker in his register of interests describes the company as:

“developer of clean energy projects overseas, focussed on emerging economies)”

Times today:

“Only two big western economies allow the large-scale ownership of assets such as land and mansions to be anonymous. One is the United States. The other is Britain, and it is an open secret in Moscow which of the two is a soft touch for oligarchs wishing to invest not only anonymously but without much risk of scrutiny.

For most of the post-Cold War period London has been a bolthole for Kremlin-connected fortunes. Its property market, schools, banks, legal firms and football clubs have been a magnet for Russian billionaires who in turn have enriched an entire class of grateful City professionals. …”

Sunday Times yesterday:

“MI6 is known to have been enraged when the firm [EN+ Group] was able to use the London Stock Exchange last year to raise an estimated £1bn. The company, chaired by Lord Barker, a former Tory energy minister, has been linked to the Russian military, including the production of a Buk missile that Dutch investigators said downed flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014, killing 298 people.”

CNN today:

Lord Barker is co-operating with a former senior campaign and transition aide to President Donald Trump [Bryan Lanza] recently inked a deal to help a Russian oligarch’s conglomerate shed sanctions the Trump administration slapped on them last month. …

… “The source familiar with the transaction noted Lanza and the Mercury team’s first phone call with [Lord] Barker shortly before the Treasury Department granted Deripaska’s companies, including EN+ Group, an additional month to get in compliance with sanctions. The source said Lanza and other Mercury lobbyists presented the extension to the administration officials as a “win for the president” because it would ultimately force a Russian oligarch to cede control of major companies.

Barker declined to comment. A [US] Treasury Department spokesman declined comment. …”

Financial Times today:

“… EN+ is chaired by Greg Barker, a former Conservative energy minister and a one-time employee of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich. Lord Barker has been scrambling to secure a rescue plan for the company that aims to sever Mr Deripaska’s control and free it from sanctions.

However, the MPs’ report is likely to herald greater scrutiny of western companies that benefit from money-laundering, potentially including estate agents and schools. …”

One thought on “Be careful lest you be judged by the friends you keep

  1. Pingback: Sidmouth Herald: only Swire “good news” covered | East Devon Watch

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