Prince Andrew`s mansion bought `in money laundering scam`
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Last Updated: Monday, September 06, 2010, 15:59
London: In an apparent embarrassment for the British Royal Family, Prince Andrew has got entangled in a controversy following claims that a Kazakh billionaire paid GBP 15 million for his mansion in a money-laundering scam.

Mukhtar Ablyazov, an exiled multi-millionaire, has alleged that the Duke of York's former home, Sunninghill Park, was bought by Timur Kulibayev, the powerful son-in-law of the President of Kazakhstan, using cash from the sale of a state- run firm in the central Asian nation, 'Daily Mail' reported.

And, Ablyazov now intends to call Prince Andrew, also Britain's international trade ambassador, as a defence witness in his own corruption case to give evidence about the sale, the report said.

Sunninghill in Berkshire was Andrew's marital home with the Duchess of York. It was sold to Kulibayev for GBP 15 million in 2007, despite having been on the market for GBP 3 million less, it said.

Ablyazov, 47, also a former government minister in Kazakhstan, claims to have documents which link the purchase with the sell-off of a GBP 110 million stake in a state-owned oil and gas company in Kazakhstan.

The 600-acre estate near Ascot was bought through a company registered in the British Virgin Islands and the prince has always denied any involvement in the deal, the report said.

However, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "There's no connection between the Duke of York and these allegations. Therefore there's no prospect of him being called as witness."


First Published: Monday, September 06, 2010, 15:59

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