Anti-Financial Crime & Financial Crime Compliance
Regulatory Intelligence Leadership | Insight | Network

Financial Services

Phoenix Thoroughbreds banned from running horses in UK by BHA amid money laundering allegations

By Elizabeth Hearst

Controversy-stricken Phoenix Thoroughbreds has been suspended by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) from running horses in the UK until further notice, after it emerged the group’s racing accounts had been frozen. 

Following the decision by the French racing authorities, France Galop, last month to ban the group from competing in France, the BHA followed suit amid concerns relating to the origins of funds used in the group’s multi-million pound spending. 

In August, Phoenix Thoroughbreds announced that the group would leave British racing “with immediate effect”, but has continued running horses regularly with high profile trainers such as Ed Vaughan, Archie Watson and Karl Burke.

The BHA announced that future entries will not be accepted “until further notice” following conversations with the management of Phoenix Thoroughbreds and review of information they held relating to the group. 

A statement from the BHA said: “Following Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ recent decision to leave UK racing, the BHA can today confirm that effective as of Monday, September 7, Phoenix Thoroughbreds are no longer able to have runners in races in Britain until further notice. Any horse currently entered will not be permitted to be declared in its current ownership.

“The racing administration accounts of all registered ownership entities that involve Phoenix Thoroughbreds have been suspended.”

Both Phoenix Thoroughbreds and the Phoenix Ladies syndicate have been banned from running horses in the UK. Phoenix Thoroughbreds became embroiled in controversy after it emerged it was connected with a multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency OneCoin scam in the US. 

The investment group, owned by Dubai-based businessman Amer Abdulaziz was dubbed the world’s “first regulated thoroughbred fund”. However in November 2019, it was reported that the parent company of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, Phoenix Investment Fund was implicated in a global multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme.

A statement from Phoenix Thoroughbreds said the group was in “direct contact with the BHA”, and added that they were “working with them very closely” during the review period. They said that this time would be a “chance to offer transparency after recent damaging media speculation in the UK.”

The group described that it was “proactively communicating with the BHA” and added that “we would like to make it clear again there have been no charges levelled against Phoenix or its CEO Amer Abdulaziz.”

Share this on:

Follow us on:

AML Intelligence
We hope you enjoyed reading this article

If you would like unlimited access to AML Intelligence premium articles, newsletter delivered twice a week, access to our Global Bank Fines and Penalties database, free access to Boardroom Series events and much more, select one of our subscription options and become a subscriber!