How can the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea afford a $35 million mansion in Malibu on a salary of $4,000 a month? Why was the Kremlin’s propaganda chief allowed to buy property in Beverly Hills on a bureaucrat’s pay? How did the daughter of Angola’s former president accumulate a fortune estimated at $3 billion?
To try to answer questions like these, Oliver Bullough visits Harley Street. One of the houses down this prestigious London road, best known for its very expensive doctors, was home in 2016 to no fewer that 2,159 shell companies, including ones sheltering the immense wealth, gained through ‘industrial scale corruption’, of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.