The French branch of Lycamobile, one of the world leaders in cheap pre-paid mobile phone cards, is being investigated in Paris for alleged money laundering and VAT fraud and nine people have been arrested.
The Brigade of Investigations and Financial Investigations (BRIF) of the Paris judicial police arrested a number of people.
According to BuzzFeed, the French authorities then asked Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in England to raid Lycamobile's offices.
That the Tories refused to assist a French probe into money-laundering & tax avoidance by major party donor Lycamobile would be enough to bring a govt down in a country free from political corruption.— will thorpe (@withorpe) 19 April 2018
As it is there's barely a mention in MSM and it'll be forgotten in a few days
Lycamobile Donated Money to Tories Between 2011 And 2016
But they declined to issue a search warrant and there was allegedly an exchange of internal emails, which BuzzFeed claims to have seen, in which reference was made to the fact that Lycamobile — who were founded by Sri Lankan immigrant Subaskaran Allirajah, donated almost £2 million ($2.29 million) to the Tories since 2011.
A spokesman for 10 Downing Street admitted to Sky News that Lycamobile's funding of the Tories was mentioned by HMRC when they refused a search warrant, but insisted the information "wasn't taken into account in the decision."
"We're absolutely clear that we take a zero-tolerance approach to corruption," the spokesman added.
So Lycamobile is accused of money laundering and HMRC refused to investigate because they donate to the Tory party. This is a good example of rigged economy and tories looking after their mates that Jeremy Corbyn talks about. This is disgraceful and corruption.— Nadeem Ahmed (@Muqadaam) 19 April 2018
But Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, at a Labour Party event in London on Thursday, April 19, said serious questions needed to be answered about the Lycamobile affair.
"BuzzFeed said is there any association between not having a raid on their office and the fact that they are Tory donors. HMRC's response was, quote, 'we're not a banana republic. That doesn't go on here.' BuzzFeed responded and said that's very strange because we have the internal emails which refer to them being major Tory donors," Mr. McDonnell said.
"If that was us in government, it would have been all over the front pages of every newspaper and it would have been the top of the BBC news. So we're not going to let them get away with it….this is about the arrogance of the Tory party who think they can get away with anything they want," said Mr. McDonnell.
Read the thread below — astonishing that this is actually happening in the UK and not a “Banana Republic” https://t.co/U0UjqjWGQQ— Fay Block (@fayblock) 20 April 2018
Call for Chancellor to Explain Why No Raid
He said the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, needed to come to the House of Commons and explain exactly why HMRC decided not to raid Lycamobile's London office.
Lycamobile says it has not contributed to the Conservative Party since July 2016 and continues to deny all allegations.
The company is suing BuzzFeed France and the website's editor for defamation over an article published in June 2016.