HSBC investigation: the ?250,000 account of son who let father be drugs fall guy
PUBLISHED November 8, 2012
As police guarded the scene in East Sussex, they smelt cannabis at neighbouring Lower House Farm. The property belonged to Daniel Bayes and the subsequent police investigation uncovered a "sophisticated and extensive" drugs operation.
Mr Bayes has never faced British justice but was described by a judge as taking a "monstrous" decision to allow his parents to take responsibility for his apparent crimes.
The Daily Telegraph can today disclose that Mr Bayes is thought to be living in Venezuela with his wife and children.
Pictures posted by the family on Facebook show them enjoying the beaches of the South American country where they appear to live a relatively wealthy life, with their own boat.
It can also be revealed today that he had more than £250,000 in an offshore account with HSBC Jersey. Last night, it was not clear why the bank had opened an account for Mr Bayes and whether the authorities had been notified.
The HSBC account is registered to the Lower Farm House address and a cursory internet search would have identified the family's link to serious crime, including money laundering, and the police's concern over their banking activities. More than five years ago, police visited the farm when they found Brian Bayes - the father of Daniel Bayes - ostensibly looking after the property for his son.
More than 140 cannabis plants were growing in a barn on the site and there was a large quantity of dried cannabis, the result of a very recent harvest. The value of the harvest was estimated at £500,000. Police said the operation was "sophisticated and extensive".
Mr Bayes Snr, and his wife, Sandra, were arrested, despite continuing to insist that they were only housesitting. Although the case against Sandra Bayes was dropped in November 2008, Brian Bayes was tried and convicted.
When police investigated the couple's bank accounts they found that between 2004 and 2006 they had paid more than £215,000 into various accounts. Sums of up to £10,000 had been deposited in cash.
The judge told Brian Bayes that if his son had "the slightest decency or compassion", he should return to Britain and accept his share of the blame.
"I take the view this enterprise was not started by yourself but you entered into it and played your part in it," the judge said at the time. "It is a matter for your son's conscience, not yours. To expose his parents like this is monstrous."
Daniel Bayes did not return and his father was jailed for three years for being concerned in the production of cannabis and two counts of money laundering.
His wife and three daughters wept in court as he was sentenced.
Daniel emailed his family in the interim from South America to say that he could not return to Britain because his wife was ill. "I personally take a very dim view that he should have allowed both of his parents to face the risk of a prosecution," Judge Charles Kemp told the court.
However, Mr Bayes Snr does not appear to have fallen out with his son over the issue. Earlier this year, the family appear to have enjoyed a holiday with their son in Venezuela where they were pictured enjoying the tropical beaches and mild weather.
On Facebook, a person signing in as "Ana Daniela Bayes" frequently logs in from El Morro De Barcelona in Lecheria on the Caribbean coast of Venezuela.
"Daniela" has posted pictures of "Daddy's boat". Although many comments are written in Spanish, occasionally comments appear in English on family members' photographs signed as "Daniel".
In February, Ana Daniela Bayes posted a Happy Anniversary message for Sandra and Brian Bayes.
A spokesman for Sussex police said that they were still interested in talking to Daniel Bayes about his role in the cannabis operation.
Bankers: Three in fraud case have special accounts
Three senior bankers at the centre of a major Italian fraud case are holding large sums offshore with HSBC.
Antonia Creanza, Fulvio Molvetti and Carlo Arosio are among nine people accused of misleading officials from the city of Milan over the complex sale of millions of pounds worth of derivatives. The three worked for investment banks in both Italy and London. The complicated deals ended up costing the city millions.
A judge has recommended that Molvetti be sentenced for eight months, while Creanza and Arosio be sentenced to a year. Records obtained by HMRC are understood to show that Arosio had £1.9 million in an offshore account in Jersey. Creanza, who lived in Little Venice while in London, had £192,000 in an offshore account, while Molvetti, who lived in an apartment in Canary Wharf, east London, had £264,000.