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Simon Hart among MPs who got money from Pandora Papers company

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  • Simon Hart among MPs who got money from Pandora Papers company
  • Alleged dirty money funding Conservative Party
  • Sources of donors’ unexplained wealth are revealed

A LOCAL MP is one of 34 Conservative MPs who received financial support from a company named in the Pandora Papers as connected to a web of international fraud and tax dodging.

Simon Hart, MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire and the Secretary of State for Wales, disclosed contributions from Aquind Ltd and an individual associated with Aquind, Alexander Temeko, in his register of interests.


In the twelve months before 2019’s General Election, Mr Hart declared he received a total of almost £25,000 from Aquind Ltd and its public face in the UK, Mr Temerko.


Although there is no wrongdoing alleged on Mr Hart’s part, we asked for his personal views on whether the current rules governing donations to political parties were robust enough.
He did not reply.


However, the Pandora Papers’ publication highlights the seamier side of some Soviet-born emigres who’ve supported the Conservatives.

A PIPELINE OF CASH

Aquind has donated more than £365,000 to the Conservative Party in recent years, despite never generating a penny in turnover.


Its former parent company donated almost £500,000 to the Conservative Party between 2012 and 2015.
Mr Termerko is alleged to have made further personal donations totalling around £700,000 to the Conservatives.
Aquind is behind a cross-channel energy and fibre optic infrastructure project valued at £1.24bn.
The Pandora Papers reveal that Aquind’s ultimate owner is Viktor Fedotov.


Both Mr Fedotov and Mr Temerko were closely linked to the former Russian Government under Boris Yeltsin, now widely acknowledged as institutionally and fundamentally corrupt.


Mr Temerko was a member of the defence ministry under former Russian premier Boris Yeltsin dealing with armaments. He later became Vice-President of the Russian oil giant Yukos.


Mr Fedotov is named in the Pandora Papers among individuals who allegedly made their fortunes through a massive contract fraud against the Russian state oil pipeline monopoly Transneft.


One claim puts the total involved in the alleged fraud as US$4bn.


The term ‘kleptocracy’ is often applied to how those linked with Yeltsin’s government managed to enrich themselves at the public expense.


Mr Temerko and Mr Fedotov strongly deny any allegations levelled against them about any involvement in alleged wrongdoing that might be connected to the source of their prodigious personal wealth.

THE BANKER’S MILLIONS

A further prominent Russian-born Conservative donor, Lubov Chernukhin, has donated around £1.8m to the Conservatives. Her husband, Vladimir, is a former finance minister in Vladimir Putin’s government and former head of the Russian National Bank.


Allegations, denied by Mr Chernukhin, claim he massively enriched himself by exploiting his position and links to power.


The Chernukhins have built up a significant property portfolio in the UK using a network of offshore trusts and opaque corporate structures that provided no clue about their fortunes’ origins until the Pandora Papers’ publication.

The stench of back-scratching cronyism surrounding Westminster’s handling of procurement processes during the pandemic – something the UK’s courts are examining in detail – adds to the pervading sense that there’s something rotten at the heart of British politics.


Whether as the beneficiaries of money allegedly obtained through massive corruption, the Conservatives want to address that situation is another matter altogether.

Although the Party has brushed aside concerns about the size of the donations it’s received from those allegedly connected to graft and corruption elsewhere, the Prime Minister’s blasé observation that the last Labour Government brought in the current rules (there hasn’t been a Labour Government for over eleven years, Prime Minister), does little to reassure.


As long as the gravy train runs, Mr Johnson seems eager to continue to feed on it.

News

Two vans and outbuilding broken in to in Milford Haven – Police investigating

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DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating reports of two vans and an outbuilding being broken in to sometime overnight on Tuesday 12 to Wednesday 13 October, at Vaynor Road, Milford Haven.

Items including tools, cash and bicycles were stolen. Following enquiries, two men have been arrested on suspicion of burglary and theft. The 20-year-old and 23-year-old, both from the Milford Haven area, remain in police custody at this time.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20211013-043. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Nathaniel Nuttal charged over serious assault in Monkton

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A 32-YEAR-OLD man who was arrested following a serious assault in Monkton on Wednesday Morning (October 13) has appeared in court this morning charged with Grievous Bodily Harm with intent.

Police were called to a property in Tenby Court, Monkton, at approximately 5.35am on Wednesday Morning following a report of a serious assault.

A 40-year-old man has been taken to hospital with serious injuries.

32-year-old Nathaniel Nuttal from Monkton was arrested at the scene and has subsequently been charged with section 18 assault (GBH with intent).

Nuttal appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court this morning.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson told this newspaper: “The 32-year-old man that was arrested at the scene, was subsequently charged with Section 18 Assault.

“Nathaniel Nuttal from Monkton, appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court this morning (Friday, October 15).”

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Education

Schools gearing up for Shwmae Day

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THE Criw Cymraeg (Welsh Crew) at our schools in Pembrokeshire have been busy preparing a whole host of exciting activities to celebrate ‘Shwmae Day’ today! (Friday, October the 15th). 

Shwmae Day is a celebration of the Welsh language and all things Welsh. Seren and Sbarc (the Welsh Language Charter mascots) are asking children to dress as Welsh superheroes or in their best red, white and green outfits to celebrate the day and kick start their Language Charter journey this year.

Bro Ingli Welsh Crew (pictured) have organised several activities for Shwmae Day. Every child and even the staff will come to school dressed in a Welsh cape like Seren and Sbarc. The Criw Cymraeg have arranged a competition between each year for one winner to win a specially designed Seren a Sbarc water bottle. Parents will have the opportunity to have a cup of tea and Welsh cakes when dropping off their children at school in the morning and having a Welsh conversation with the Criw Cymraeg or even being taught a few phrases! The donations will be given to the Wales Air Ambulance. The Criw Cymraeg have also arranged with the kitchen for everyone to have Welsh soup and Welsh cakes for lunch.

Roch School are also dressing up as superheroes. Their Criw Cyrmaeg have arranged lots of exciting activities throughout the day for children to use their Welsh skills from crafts, mocktail making, listening to Welsh music and quizzes to teddy bear picnics. Children will have an extra surprise as they host some special superheroes at their picnic who will join them playing Welsh language games in the playground and sharing a sandwich at the teddy bear picnic.

Scores of teams have also registered for the Big Welsh ‘Dim Clem’ quiz hosted by Menter Iaith Sir Benfro for our English medium primaries. We’ll see which school will be crowned the winner!

And finally, to top off the excitement, all schools will have access to an online gig by Welsh artist Gwilym Bowen Rhys to enjoy during the day.

“What a fantastic effort by our schools to celebrate the Welsh language and to kickstart their Language Charter journey,” said Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Welsh Language. “I wish everybody a great, fun-filled day.” 

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