Regulator investigates three charities linked to Russian oligarch

The Charity Commission has launched investigations into three charities linked to Russian billionaire Dr Viatcheslav Kantor, who has been sanctioned by the UK government.

Statutory inquiries have been opened into grant making trusts the Kantor Charitable Foundation and the Kantor Foundation, the regulator has announced.

The oligarch is a director of the charities’ corporate entity board, the Kantor Trustees. Both charities’ bank accounts have been frozen.

In addition, the Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, after suspending Kantor from its board.

Trustees of the charity are not allowed to part with any of its property without the Commission’s consent. The charity was set up in 2021 to support education around the Holocaust.

The action around the three charities follows Kantor being subject to the UK’s sanctions scheme on 6 April, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Under the scheme he is subject to a full asset freeze.

The charities are the latest to be investigated by the regulator amid concerns over links with Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Last month, The Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry into Jewish arts and heritage charity Genesis Philanthropy Group after three of its trustees were subject to sanctions.

Oligarchs Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman and German Khan were all named as ‘designated persons’ by the government as part of sanctions scheme.

Also last month, the regulator opened a compliance case into the charity Downside Up, whose patrons include Prime Minister Boris Johnson, over funding to the Russian regime.

Earlier this month the Charity Commission issued a warning to charities to ensure refugees are protected from sexual exploitation and abuse. The regulator fears that criminals may use charities as a cover for exploiting those fleeing the conflict.

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