Vatnik Soup
Soup number163
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Vatnik’s professionBusinessman
Vatnik’s country of originUnited Kingdom
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Arron Banks

In today’s #vatniksoup, I’ll introduce a British businessman and political donor, Arron Banks (@Arron_banks). He’s best-known for his business meetings with the Russians, and for funding the Brexit campaign through the Leave.EU political campaign group.

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Even Arron’s childhood was controversial, he attended Crookham Court, a former boarding school in Berkshire. Wikipedia suggests that he was expelled, but there isn’t any proof of this.

The school was closed five years after his departure, because of serious sexual...

...offenses conducted by the the staff. He appeared as a witness in defense of the school’s headteacher & owner, who was later sentenced to 10 years in prison (6 after appeal). In 2013, he portrayed the former pupils who helped with the prosecution as part of a “victim culture”.

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Banks started his work career at the insurance market, eventually becoming a relatively successful businessman. According to The Guardian, Banks had set up 37 different companies with slight variations of his name.

Three of them had the same date of birth but listed different companies. When asked about this, Arron’s spokesperson declared that he’d prefer to “correct [the Guardian’s] mistakes in court”.

One of Banks’ companies, Eldon Insurance, increased its profits by almost...

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...17 million £ for the first half of 2017. He claimed that this profit increase was due to the same AI technology that they used in the Brexit campaign. Banks is also involved in mining in South Africa and has connections to companies based in Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.
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He is also a “substantial” shareholder in STM Fidecs, a company specializing in “international wealth protection”.

In October 2014, Banks donated 1 million £ to the UK Independence Party (UKIP for short) and has since raised over 11 million USD to help the party.

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In Jul 2015, Banks co-found the Leave.EU political campaign group together with Richard Tice. He’s been seen as the the financial backer of the Brexit campaign, and funded with around 8 million £.

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Few months after launching Leave.EU, Banks had multiple meetings with various Russian officials at the Russian Embassy in Londongrad. Later the Russian ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, introduced Arron to a Russian businessman, after which he was offered...

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...various business proposals from Russian parties. He was also offered a chance to invest in Russian-owned mines. This deal was announced 12 days after the Brexit referendum. It’s unclear if Banks decided to invest or not.

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For long time, Banks claimed that his only contact with the Russians was a “boozy lunch” with the ambassador.Later he admitted to “two or three” meetings, and after pressed by the NYT, he admitted on a fourth one. The Observer has suggested that the Leave.EU..11/20
team met with people from the Russian Embassy as many as 11 times, before and after the Brexit referendum. Banks has often threatened people who talk about his relationship with the Russian state with lawsuits, and in Jun 2022, ...

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he lost a defamation case against investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla).

In 2019, Banks’ Twitter account was hacked and his DM’s leaked. These direct messages were described as “pretty explosive”.

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Based on Channel 4 investigation, Banks’ Leave.EU had allegedly faked migrant footage and photos of “migrants assaulting women”, and later the produced videos went viral online. Commenting on the issue, Banks accused Channel 4 of “fake news”.

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He’s also considered starting a “pro-Brexit, nonpartisan citizens’ movement”, Patriotic Alliance, targeting the “200 worst, most corrupt MPs”. This movement was supposed to be based on Italy’s populist Movimento 5 Stelle.

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In 2019 The National Crime Agency concluded their investigation on Banks and Leave.EU, stating that it had not found any evidence of criminality. As of Apr 2022, had gone into liquidation, and Banks wrote off a loan worth more than 7M £.16/20 ImageImage
Based on Arron’s tweets, the biggest culprit of the situation in Ukraine is actually NATO and the EU. He’s tweeted that “Ukraine is to Russia as the isle of Wight is to to the UK. It’s Russian”. To be fair, he might’ve referred to Crimea, but it’s still not a very good look.17/20 ImageImageImageImage
Banks also tweeted that “EU caused Georgia and Ukraine problem by trying to bring them into their sphere”. He’s also stated that if Trump were president, Russia wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine. He’s referred to the pre-February 2022 events in Ukraine as a “civil war”

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Arron has often tweeted how the Mueller report and FBI investigation found no collision between Trump and Russia. But the process is far from over, and there are still various investigation lines going on in this collusion.

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In February 2023, GOP operative Jesse Benton was sentenced to prison for funneling Russian money into the Trump campaign in 2016.

Maybe further investigations on Brexit campaigning shouldn’t be dropped just yet?

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This is just creepy. Image
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