Adrian Kirby (Pictured) a former UK waste disposal operator and onetime member of the prestigious Guards Polo Club who illegally conspired to spy on his environmental critics, was first interviewed by London police in February 2005. In May, he went to Switzerland to set up an HSBC Trust Structure registered in the Cook Islands that would “[protect his assets from future creditors wishing to sue him personally” and from inheritance tax.
(There is no suggestion that Kirby was using his Swiss account to engage in tax avoidance or evasion)
Later he moved £1m from the sale of the waste firm into his Swiss account, “as he wants to take all his cash out the UK asap. This is in relation to his official move out of the UK (residency in Switzerland).”
Two years later he was sentenced to six months in prison for conspiracy to intercept phone calls. Dealing with Kirby, the Judge said he was so “hostile” to perceived opponents he was prepared to pay the agency £47,000 to hack into computers and tap telephones. He also targeted emails of local authority employees at Northamptonshire County Council and Peterborough local authority, Kirby, the head of Atlantic Waste Holdings at the time, also spied on three local residents and a site manager he suspected of helping investigate his activities.
Since his release, Kirby has thrown his hat into the private equity sector and in 2008/9 set up a private equity vehicle called Ravensbourne.
Recently at Shepway District Council (SDC) full council meeting on Wednesday 22nd February, Cllr Alan Ewart James & Cllr Susan Carey between them, mentioned Biggins Wood (Cheriton) five times. Biggins Wood a ten acre plot of land with full planning permission was bought by SDC for £1.5 million on the 21st December 2016 (See Image below). SDC used their urgency powers to purchase the land; so it NEVER came before full council for discussion or scrutiny. (See agreement here → biggins-wood-sale-agreement)
SDC bought the land from Biggins Wood Homes Limited. Biggins Wood Homes Limited has one sole shareholder, that being ravensbourne-holding-s-a-r-l (Luxembourg) and the only name attached to any documents we have seen is a one Mr Adrian Kirby (see below) domiciled in Switzerland. The address (not the company) where Ravensbourne is registered, is in the Panama Papers. The address for the another company mentioned in the documents below, Atlantic Investments Limited, shares the same address as HSBC on the Cook Islands; which everyone now calls the CROOK ISLANDS. Mr Kirby also appears in the Swiss Leaks (Feb 2015).
We have spoken to several experienced developers who cannot explain how SDC bought ten acres of land with full planning permission for 77 homes, for £1.5 million. All of them have said the price for the land would normally be considerably higher, but added the land might be contaminated as it was historically a rubbish tip and an old brickworks. Hence the possible cheapness of the land.The s106-biggins-wood released under FOI, shows the soil needs re-mediation (pg 23) and there is significant soil contamination.Perhaps this is why the land cost so little as the developers suggested. How much though will re-mediation of the soil cost SDC? How long will re-mediation take and how soon will the land be ready to build on?
Why were SDC doing business with a known criminal, convicted of spying on local council employees?
What due diligence, if any did SDC undertake?
Why were SDC dealing with another offshore entity, whose owner/partner is a convicted criminal, appears in the HSBC Swiss Leaks, and who set up a trust in the Crook Islands, a paradise of untouchable assets?
If you have any questions you can always write/email to
email@example.com – firstname.lastname@example.org or even the most expensive MP in Kent –
Something does not smell right to us, so we are continuing our investigation. In the meantime, we’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about the sale of the land and £1.5 million pounds of taxpayers money being handed over to a convicted criminal.
We contacted Mr Kirby’s agents to discuss the above, but so far, come there a reply none.
There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in this blog post have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly unless convicted by a court of law.