Arron Banks referred to crime agency over suspected offences in Brexit campaign

British businessman Arron Banks takes part in a press briefing by the

On Thursday, Arron Banks was referred to Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA), the body that investigates serious and organized crime, by Britain's Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commission had been examining a reported £2m loan from Mr Banks and his group of insurance companies to Better for the Country.

Mr Banks was not the true source of the £8m loans made to Better for the Country.

The Electoral Commission has referred me to the National Crime Agency under intense political pressure from anti-Brexit supporters.

They will also investigate Leave.EU chief Elizabeth Bilney.

Banks, who was the co-founder of Leave.EU, has denied any wrongdoing and said he welcomed the investigation to put an end to the "ludicrous" allegations.

Leave.EU originally competed against Vote Leave to be the official campaign group supporting Britain's exit of the European Union, but the Electoral Commission selected the latter.

The National Crime Agency, which investigates serious and organised crime, said the investigation comes after an referral from the Electoral Commission but will extend to offences other than breaking electoral law.

"The sums of money involved in these matters are significant", the electoral commission added, after the pro-Brexit side won the referendum by a narrow margin of 51.9 percent against 48.1 percent in June 2016.

Banks was in regular contact with Russian officials between 2015 and 2017 and was offered a business deal involving Russian gold mines, according to emails revealed earlier this year by the co-author of his book, "The Bad Boys of Brexit". This is now a criminal investigation.

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"In our analysis, Rock Services' then and historic profits were not sufficient to enable it to have funded the 8 million pounds", the Electoral Commission said, adding that it suspected the company did not fund the payment from its United Kingdom income as required by electoral law.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has previously said Banks' connections to Russian Federation were being examined "very seriously" by the government, amid allegations there had been an attempt to undermine United Kingdom democracy.

'This is significant because at least £2.9 million of this money was used to fund referendum spending and donations during the regulated period of the European Union referendum. The Electoral Commission has produced no evidence to the contrary.

The Electoral Commission believes that one of the loans to "Leave.EU" may have come from Rock Holdings, a company incorporated in the Isle of Mann, which is not part of the United Kingdom but a self-governing possession of the British Crown.

He also argued in a statement that there was "no evidence of wrongdoing from the companies I own".

It also looked at a reported £6m loan to the organisation by Mr Banks alone.

United Kingdom law essentially bans financial donations being made to electoral campaigns from overseas or foreign donors.

Mr Banks, who was behind prominent Brexit campaign group Leave.EU, is facing allegations alongside another senior campaign figure, Liz Bilney.

"This is now a live investigation, and we are unable to discuss any operational detail".

Separately, Leave.EU has faced questions over its links to Cambridge Analytica, the consultancy firm that used data obtained from millions of Facebook users without their permission.

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