British relative King Charles III Alexandra Bowes-Lyon organized an event for a Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaskawhich is under US sanctions since 2018, writes The Sunday Times. According to the newspaper, in February 2021, an aristocrat arranged a private jet flight and a safari in Kenya for a businessman.
Based in New York, Bowes-Lyon organized the event as a top manager for the US branch of the British charity Space for Giants. This organization, whose trustees include Prince William, engaged in the protection of elephants. As The Sunday Times found out, Deripaska spent three days at the Suyan Ranch in the Kenyan district of Laikipia, watching the life of lions, cheetahs and elephants. It is emphasized that you can get to this ranch by invitation only.
Deripaska flew to the Kenyan capital Nairobi on his plane, accompanied by a bodyguard, a butler and one of the top managers of Rusal, after which he boarded a board rented by Space for Giants and owned by another British aristocrat, member of the House of Lords Michael Spencer. The Sunday Times contacted Lord Spencer for comment, he told reporters that he was leasing his plane through a Kenyan “independent charter company” and did not know the names of the passengers flying on board.
The sanctions of the US Treasury suggest that citizens and residents of the country, as well as companies registered in the US, are prohibited from participating in financial transactions and any transactions with persons included in the sanctions lists. Space for Giants founder Max Graham told The Sunday Times that neither the charity nor Alexandra Bowes-Lyon ever violated sanctions “knowingly and intentionally”. However, he acknowledged that representatives of Space for Giants were interrogated in 2021 as part of a joint investigation by the FBI and the Ministry of Justice about the circumvention of sanctions by Deripaska and persons associated with him.
“We cannot confirm or deny that Space for Giants violated or did not violate U.S. sanctions on safari 2021, given that no competent authority has ever made a decision on this matter,” Graham said. The charity has been assured that it is not under suspicion, he said. Space for Giants confirmed the receipt of money from Deripaska, but noted that the funds went to the accounts of the British, and not the American branch of the company. The UK imposed sanctions against the Russian oligarch only in March 2022.
The Sunday Times traced the connection between Deripaska and Space for Giants to January 2018, when the Russian businessman attended a dinner at the London home of Greek tycoon Spyros Latsis. Prince William was the guest of honor at the event, and Deripaska sat at the table next to his private secretary. In the Space for Giants report for 2020, Rusal is mentioned among the partner companies.
Alexandra Bowes-Lyon, 37, is related to Charles III through his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, nee Bowes-Lyon. Alexandra’s great-great-grandfather was the brother of Claude George Bowes-Lyon, Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, who was the father of Queen Elizabeth, wife of George VI and mother of Elizabeth II.