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Brexit campaign donor Arron Banks referred to National Crime Agency



Arron BanksJack Taylor/Getty Images

LONDON — Brexit campaign donor Arron Banks has been referred to
the National Crime Agency over “multiple suspected offences”
relating to funding during the EU referendum campaign.

Banks — the millionaire businessman who funded UKIP during Nigel
Farage’s leadership — is to be investigated for alleged criminal
offences along with Leave.EU, the pro-Brexit campaign group he

The Electoral Commission announced on Thursday morning that it
had referred Banks and Better For The Country, the group which
ran Leave.EU, to the National Crime Agency.

Banks is accused of falsely claiming to be the source of £8
million that was loaned to Better For The Country and put towards
Leave.EU campaigning. In a statement, the Electoral
Commission said:

A number of companies and individuals have been referred to
the National Crime Agency for suspected criminal offences
committed during the EU referendum.

Following its investigation into funding for the 2016 EU
referendum, the Electoral Commission has referred: Better for the
Country, the organisation that ran the Leave.EU referendum
campaign; Arron Banks; Leave.EU; Elizabeth Bilney; and other
associated companies and individuals. The National Crime Agency
has now launched a criminal investigation.

The investigation focused on £2m reported to have been loaned
to Better for the Country by Arron Banks and his group of
insurance companies and a further £6m reported to have been given
to the organisation, on behalf of Leave.EU, by Arron Banks

£2.9m of this money was used to fund referendum spending on
behalf of Leave.EU and donations to other campaign groups during
the EU referendum.

Following its investigation, the Commission has reasonable
grounds to suspect that:

  • Mr Banks was not the true source of the £8m loans made to
    Better for the Country.
  • 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
  • Arron Banks, Elizabeth Bilney and others involved in Better
    for the Country, Leave.EU and associated companies concealed
    the true details of these financial transactions.
  • A number of criminal offences may have been committed.

Due to multiple suspected offences, some of which fall
outside the Commission’s remit, the Commission has referred this
matter and handed its evidence to the National Crime Agency.

More follows…

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