Friday, March 03, 2006

Blair ministers 'have close relationships with US casino chiefs'

Source:
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/politics/story/0,6903,1544276,00.html

Antony Barnett, in the Observer on 7 August 2005, explained that UK government ministers have close relationships with US casino chiefs who plan to build Las Vegas-style casinos across Britain.

The Observer claims to have documents showing how the Department for Culture, led by Blair's friend Tessa Jowell, 'pressed the Treasury to change rules on money laundering to help US gambling corporations.'

The documents also show that 'ministers and department officials held meetings with senior casino officials behind closed doors in Las Vegas, South Africa and France as well as the UK.'

Tessa Jowell had told parliament in November 2004 that her department had not been involved in any discussions with casino groups about money laundering laws.

The Observer writes: 'The disclosures raise serious questions about statements denying any move on money laundering given to the Commons by the Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell. The Conservatives have accused Jowell of misleading parliament and have written to her demanding an explanation.'

Top UK policemen are worried that criminals will use casinos to launder money.

When the opposition leader Michael Howard pressed Tony Blair about the casinos, Blair said claims that casinos had been offered special concessions were 'ridiculous'.

The Observer claims to have a briefing note sent in May 2004 from culture department official Richard Beston to culture minister Lord McIntosh, who was in charge of the bill.

This note shows that 'discussions about easing the rules on money laundering did take place between ministers and casino bosses and that Jowell's department tried to get the Treasury to give casino groups special exemptions.'

The note, released under the Freedom of Information Act, was sent just before a meeting with casinos boss Lloyd Nathan, at the House of Lords.

The note states: 'We [the DCMS] have asked the Treasury to consider revising the third money laundering draft directive to exempt casino members from showing ID when they enter the actual gaming floor ... If these discussions fail, I [McIntosh] will consider with industry how best to resolve this issue.'

The documents 'show how ministers and officials travelled across the globe at taxpayers' expense to meet casino bosses. One three-day trip only two weeks before the Gambling Bill was publish involved four officials travelling to Las Vegas and staying at the luxury Venetian Hotel.'

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Tessa Jowell's husband is David Mills, who is the brother-in-law of the recently retired head of Britain's Crown Prosecution Service, Ms Barbara Mills.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1441814,00.html

Philip Willan and Antony Barnett, March 20 2005, in the Observer, wrote about how David Mills, the husband of cabinet minister Tessa Jowell, has been accused of misleading Italian investigators and destroying documents in order to obstruct an inquiry into the business affairs of Silvio Berlusconi.

According to court documents, international lawyer David Mills allegedly played a key role in the creation and administration of a network of offshore companies that were at the heart of the fraud.

Mills is accused of suspected tax fraud and money laundering.

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'Dictator' picks 'mafia' cronies for his cabinet?

Politicians - Tessa Jowell, Cathy Jamieson, Michael Howard....

Michael Howard's cousin and gangsters.

Blair, McKinsey, Enron, CIA continued

Vote fraud in Jack Straw's constituency?

Masons, Israel, Gordon Brown....


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