Asil Nadir

In his biggest foreign speech since the election, David Cameron will today tell press and dignitaries in Singapore that British businesses and the property market must not become a safe haven for “plundered or laundered cash”.

The press have already been briefed that he wants the UK to “lead by example” — so he will presumably be announcing that the Conservative party is to return hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations from convicted international fraudster Asil Nadir.

Cameron’s push against financial crime facilitated through vehicles such as shell companies is simply dripping with hypocrisy: less than three years ago Tory HQ claimed the Nadir donations were legit because they came from companies in his Polly Peck business empire — as opposed to the tycoon himself:

“The Conservative Party has no record of having received donations from Asil Nadir … Donations were received from Polly Peck companies more than 22 years ago;

Except, errrrr, liquidators wrote to the party in the early 1990s saying that the cash was stolen — correspondence confirmed in the Commons by the then Tory chairman:

“Chris Morris of Touche Ross reportedly wrote to Conservative central office claiming that £365,000 of the £440,000 in donations did indeed come from money stolen from Polly Peck’s accounts.

That’s at least £675,000 in today’s money.

Nadir was finally convicted in August 2012 — after claiming £2 million in legal aid and being driven to court in a Jaguar.

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