Sherlock Holmes house on Baker Street linked to accused criminal mastermind
PUBLISHED: 17:05 22 July 2015 | UPDATED: 17:05 22 July 2015
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Kazakhstan's most feared man, Rakhat Aliyev, has been linked to Sherlock Holmes' house on Baker Street
Research from anti-corruption campaign group Global Witness suggests that the mysterious owner of the property has close ties to Rakhat Aliyev, a former secret police chief accused of murder and money-laundering.
The owner is said to have a £147 million property empire, which includes numerous properties near Baker Street, along with 221, where Conan Doyle’s fictional character lived.
In a complex process, the owner acquired the assets in 2009, after buying a network of offshore companies. The companies then invested in the property.
In documents seen by the Global Witness investigation team, it was revealed that managers of the companies were linked to Rakhat Aliyev, a former Kazakh secret police chief who was found hanged in prison in February while awaiting trial for the murder of two bankers in his home country of Kazikhstan.
Global Witness said: “Increasingly, London’s high-end property market is one of the go-to destinations to give questionable funds a veneer of respectability. This kind of access to the financial system entrenches the corruption that keeps citizens in poor countries poor and threatens global stability.”
Chido Dunn, Senior Campaigner at Global Witness, added that it was far too easy for corruption to take place in the London property market, and further regulation was needed.
“Like other great world cities, London appears increasingly attractive to the wrong people for the wrong reasons,” he said. “Even Holmes and Watson would have their work cut out investigating the suspect cash flooding into its property market, because the system is so riddled with loopholes.”