UK visas awarded to those with more than £2 million to invest in the country should be reviewed to remove the possibility of introducing “dirty money” into the British economy, according to a former minister.
Labour’s Dame Margaret Hodge highlighted that Russia is one of the main countries to take advantage of Tier 1 investor visas, or “the golden visas”, and has urged Home Office minister Ben Wallace to take steps to discover where the money is sourced before accepting applications.
Commenting on the calls, Mr Wallace suggested that the Home Office will indeed ensure all individuals entering the country on such a visa will only be allowed to do so following background checks.
“We do have the powers in our visa regime already to take action and we will quite rightly, as she says, be looking at that tier to make sure that we do better due diligence if we need to on where the money comes from.”
These calls have been mirrored by the widow of murdered spy Alexander Litvinenko, who has criticised the government for allowed ‘dirty money’ from Russian oligarchs into the country.
Nataliya Litvinenko also commented on recent comments from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stating that any response to the Salisbury attack should be “based on clear evidence”.
“I can say people are naïve but sometimes I hope there’s nothing behind this, because I don’t like to blame people of being corrupted or doing this because of money,” she said.