First came the facts. A March 2015 report from NGO Transparency International revealing nearly one-in-ten Westminster properties and over 7 percent of those in Kensington and Chelsea belong to offshore companies. This along with the revelation that £180 million ($260 million) worth of U.K. property has been brought under criminal investigation for corruption since 2004.
March 2016's Panama Papers' leak then brought famous personalities to the statistics, matching them with extravagant properties in some of London's most desirable post codes.
But as tangible experiences can be more arresting, there is now the Kleptocracy Bus tour organized by The Campaign for Legislation Against Money Laundering in Property by Kleptocrats (ClampK). Founded by anti-corruption activist Roman Borisovich, the organization shines an accusatory light on those said to be dealing in illicit funds. Service providers – such as lawyers or estate agents who supposedly facilitate the channeling of ill-gotten gains for their less-than-white clients, often into London property – also come under scrutiny.
The three-hour tour begins alongside the Houses of Parliament at Whitehall and passes through areas such as Belgrave Square, which is minutes from the royal residence of Buckingham Palace and Knightsbridge, which hosts the capital's famous department store and tourist hotspot, Harrods.
Properties are pointed out along the route, as journalists and politicians on board are regaled with back histories of how their owners emerged as multi-millionaires or billionaires from the cut-throat shake-out of ex-USSR industries and companies following the state's collapse in 1991.
The latest round of tours is timed to coincide with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron's Anti-Corruption Summit, hosted in London on May 12.
Since the PM's speech in July 2015, at which he pledged to stomp out corruption and break its link with U.K. property, the government has launched a series of consultations and proposals aimed at taking concrete action to address the problem.