Imagine you are an international businessman. You own several prominent companies, including one which sponsored Liverpool FC for four years and the World Number One tennis star Victoria Azarenka. You are proud of your business achievements, including employing hundreds of staff. 

Imagine you make plans to relocate your young family to a new country. You make a preliminary visit and open a bank account, transferring significant sums of money in anticipation of your move.

Then imagine you, unexpectedly, fall seriously ill with a devastating autoimmune disease for two years. Family plans change so you delay relocating. You believe your money to be safe with the foreign bank until you’re well enough to travel and work out your future plans.

To your shock, two years later you discover local police officers have been portraying you to the local court as a low-level fraudster who sold a fake airline ticket to Nigeria for the equivalent of £750 and a fake car on eBay for the equivalent of £6,300. Given the millions sat in your bank account and invested through sponsorships, the absurdity goes beyond a mistake; it’s malice preying on prejudice.

So those officers allege, in your absence and without your knowledge, that you are a mysterious person without any business footprint, despite having access to wide-ranging information about your businesses. To make it worse, they send the account freezing notice for your personal accounts to a non-existent postal address; by ‘accidentally’ putting your date of birth in place of building number, so that you never receive it.

When, after discovering that, you tell them that you will file an official complaint if this absurd is not stopped, the officers first pressure you not to do so, offering a humiliating ‘deal’. When you refuse, they spend two years disguising their initial misconduct by throwing around bizarre allegations against you and your business. They use the full might of their resources to, ideally, scare and silence you; at the least, to discredit you.

You try to address this systematic discrimination and corruption by going through the formal processes; the officers’ superiors, the anti-corruption safeguards. You discover, at every stage, what appears to be either wilful ignorance or a deliberate cover up. Even when you challenge the highest management of the police force, they state that “this conduct is fully in line with their high standards“.

You may think that this story is about some developing country with a corruption problem, where the system and safeguards malfunction like a 20-year-old washing machine. Or maybe a Hollywood movie. You would be wrong. The country is the UK, in the years 2018 to 2020. 

The UK has a rich and proud history of having an open and transparent justice system that is the envy of the world. But it is widely recognised that ignorance allows bad faith and corruption to appear anywhere. In my experience there are two additional factors.

The first is malice from one party. In this case, it is Merseyside Police targeting and attacking a Russian national for no fair reason, other than prejudice. Lies such as me having “no business footprints” and “no websites” were submitted under oath to the court, at the same time that my business was sponsoring Liverpool FC.

My accounts were maliciously targeted in April 2018 under new police powers and it is no coincidence that this happened just a month after the awful Salisbury poisonings when the UK was in an anti-Russian frenzy. Whilst I, of course, appreciate high tensions at the time, and the appalling nature of the Salisbury crime, prejudice and unfounded suspicions meant officers suspended logic in their witch-hunt. This crusade came at a huge personal cost to me, in terms of my health, my family, my business and my finances. 

Merseyside Police has not only willfully perpetrated a fraud against me, they then continued similar practices to cover up the initial misconduct. To my surprise, the prejudice against Russians (and towards police) is so strong that this dishonest venture has kept afloat for two years.

I have a great deal of respect for the UK’s police forces as well as its political and legal institutions. However, one of its strengths – a universal sense of camaraderie and belief in its own virtue – can sometimes be misguided. This is the second factor, leading to a willingness from senior officials to cover for the misconduct of their colleagues; even in the face of clear evidence.

Independently, these aforementioned issues – prejudice and tolerance of misconduct – are significant and can have a profound impact on those on the receiving end; together, they can overrun a person’s life. Businesses can be destroyed, as happened with my FCA-licensed payment firm. Families can be strained. The limits of mental and physical health can be stretched to breaking point. 

I am fortunate that I have resources of my own. This has allowed me to benefit from professional legal advice, as well as learning and understanding how the system works. I have been able to push my opponents and highlight their corruption through the legal routes and now in the media too. However, others may not have the resources or stamina to deal with what, sometimes, turns out to be institutionalised malice.

That is why, today, I am launching the Association Against Abuse of Police Powers and Privileges (AAAPPP), a not-for-profit organisation established to tackle the abuse of power by police in the UK and, crucially, to support its victims. 

AAAPPP is intended to be a partner of the UK police forces in their continuous effort of eliminating internal corruption, whilst helping combat injustices where they arise and, better yet, preventing them altogether.

Nothing will bring me back the two years lost in this horror. The time and resources I spent cannot be restored, the pain and stress I went through cannot be forgotten. All of this was as a result of the corruption and malice of individuals who consider the power of the state to be their personal toy or weapon. However, if I can use my knowledge and experience to help the others, it will all be worth it.

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