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The Electoral Commission, which can impose civil sanctions for breaches of election rules, said it had “reasonable grounds to suspect a number of criminal offences” and referred the matter to the NCA.
In particular, it said, there were reasonable grounds to suspect that Banks was not the true source of $10.3 million reported as loans to pro-Brexit campaign groups.
British electoral campaigns are barred from taking money from overseas-based individuals or businesses.
Banks has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He tweeted from a fishing vacation in Bermuda that he was "pleased" at the latest news, saying: "I am confident that a full and frank investigation will finally put and end to the ludicrous allegations."
In the June 2016 referendum, 17.4 million votes, or 51.9 percent of votes cast, backed leaving the European Union while 16.1 million votes, or 48.1 percent of votes cast, backed staying, a result that defied opinion polls.
The @ElectoralCommUK haven’t spoken to us or communicated in 4 months nor have they put any allegations for us to answer. Journalists should be asking why they haven’t followed their own due process ! It’s no wonder their CEO has been sacked .. https://t.co/i2YdILTS0X