Inquiry into oligarch’s charity which donated to royal hospital

An inquiry has been launched into a sanctioned oligarch’s charity, which donated to a royal hospital and a charity set up by the Prince of Wales.

23 April 2022

A Russian oligarch’s charity, which donated to a private hospital used and supported by the Queen and the royal family, has been made the subject of an inquiry following sanctions.

Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor had his assets frozen in early April as part of sanctions imposed by the UK Government over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Kantor Charitable Foundation donated £9 million to King Edward VII’s Hospital in Marylebone and promised £3 million to The Prince’s Foundation, a charity up by the Prince of Wales, the BBC reports.

Duke of Edinburgh admitted to hospital
King Edward VII’s Hospital received a £9 million donation from Kantor’s Charity, the BBC reports (PA/ Aaron Chown)

As a result of the sanction, the Charity Commission has launched an inquiry to determine whether the foundation can continue to operate.

It will also look into the conduct of trustees in relation to the running of the charities, the commission said.

Russian billionaire Dr Kantor was made a life governor of King Edward VII’s, which named the recently opened “Kantor Medical Centre” after him.

The hospital, for which the Queen is a patron, removed his name from the new wing following the sanction.

Royal visit to County Durham
More funds have been promised to an education charity established by the Prince of Wales (PA/ Owen Humphreys)

A hospital spokesman said: “In 2018 we agreed to accept a donation from the Kantor Charitable Foundation; a UK registered and regulated charity. This donation was used to develop an outpatient and diagnostic centre which is already benefitting our patients.

“Dr Moshe Kantor has informed us he has decided to step back completely from all charitable activity in the UK.

“Dr Kantor has indicated that, in the light of this decision, he is content that his name is no longer used in relation to any of the major projects funded by the Kantor Charitable Foundation.”

The Prince’s Foundation, an educational charity established by the Prince of Wales, received £600,000 from Dr Kantor’s charity as part of a £3 million sum to be paid in increments until 2028, according to the BBC.

The news outlet also reported that Dr Kantor remains a listed patron of the foundation and has supported the Thrombosis Research Institute, the Royal Society of Medicine, the Anna Freud Centre and the Royal Opera House.

The Charity Commission described Dr Kantor as the “largest shareholder of fertiliser company Acron, with vital strategic significance for the Russian government”.

He is also the founder of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation and is connected with The Kantor Foundation, which are also subjects of the inquiry.

Tim Hopkins, assistant director of investigations and inquiries at the Charity Commission, said: “We are committed to protecting the integrity of the charitable sector and are clear that an individual sanctioned in the UK cannot act as a trustee. These inquiries are part of our ongoing and wide-ranging work in response to the crisis in Ukraine.”

When sweeping sanctions were announced on April 6 after reports of attacks on civilians in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “Together with our allies, we are showing the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s orders. We will not rest until Ukraine prevails.”

A 2020 report by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee highlighted concerns that Russian donors were using support for charities as part of a “reputation laundering” process.

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