UK freezes account of oligarch’s charity that donated $10 m

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The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office announced sanctions on Kantor earlier this month, claiming that Acron maintains “vital strategic significance for the Russian government.”…reports Asian Lite News

The UK Charity Commission opened an investigation Friday into two charities founded by Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, a Russian oligarch sanctioned in early April following the invasion of Ukraine.

Kantor, currently ranked as Russia’s thirteenth richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, is a major stakeholder in Acron, one of Russia’s largest fertilizer producers.

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office announced sanctions on Kantor earlier this month, claiming that Acron maintains “vital strategic significance for the Russian government.”

The newly opened investigation into Kantor’s philanthropy includes the Kantor Charitable Foundation and the World Holocaust Forum Foundation. The UK charity commission said Friday that it has frozen the Kantor Foundation’s bank account, meaning that “no one can access or move funds held in its account without the Commission’s prior consent.”

In 2018, the Kantor Charitable Foundation donated over $10 million to King Edward VII’s Hospital, a private facility in London used by the Queen and royal family, according to charity records.

Pic credits Twitter @moshekantoreng

The hospital used the funds to build a new outpatient center named in Kantor’s honor, which opened in January 2022. A spokesperson for King Edward VII’s Hospital confirmed to Insider that the oligarch’s name was removed from the hospital wing after he was sanctioned.

“In 2018 we agreed to accept a donation from the Kantor Charitable Foundation; a UK registered and regulated charity,” the spokesperson told Insider. “This donation was used to develop an outpatient and diagnostic centre which is already benefitting our patients.”

“Dr Moshe Kantor has informed us he has decided to step back completely from all charitable activity in the UK,” the spokesperson added. “[He] indicated that, in the light of this decision, he is content that his name is no longer used in relation to any of the major projects funded by the Kantor Charitable Foundation.”

The European Jewish Congress said it is “deeply shocked and appalled” by the UK’s decision to sanction Kantor, who served as the organization’s president, and called for the decision to be reversed.

“Dr Kantor is a British citizen who has lived for over three decades in Western Europe, many years of which has been in the UK,” the EJC said in a statement on April 6. “He is a long-standing and respected Jewish leader, who has dedicated his life to the security and wellbeing of Europe’s Jewish communities and the fight against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia.”

The UK’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the wave of sanctions, including those on Kantor, show “the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on Putin’s orders,” adding that the UK and its allies “will not rest until Ukraine prevails.”

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