The Mystery Of Sherlock’s Home



The Independent is becoming a great uncoverer of odd stories. Today they reveal that the address of Sherlock Holmes, 221b Baker Street, together with two valuable properties near Hyde Park and a mansion in Hampstead worth a total of £147m, are linked to notorious Kazakh businessman Rakhat Aliyev, the son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s President.

He was accused of abusing his position as the former deputy head of the country’s secret police to corruptly amass a multi-million pound business empire. In February he was found hanged in an Austrian jail cell, where he was being held on murder charges.

The case illustrates the loopholes in our property market which are exploited to hide the proceeds of corruption and launder the proceeds of crime. The Baker Street property portfolio has been owned by four different British companies in a two-year period, and all the directors are linked to Aliyev. The complex ownership arrangements make it difficult to untangle.  Mayor Boris Johnson has encouraged more high-flyer buyers instead of pushing for companies buying land to reveal who their owners are, and estate agents don’t carry out anti-laundering checks against buyers as well as sellers of UK property.

Meanwhile the housing ladder has collapsed for under-40s. House price rises of 5% a year and a shortage of affordable homes are set to swell the ranks of Generation Rent over the next decade, so that by 2025 more than half of those under 40 will be living in properties owned by private landlords.

221b Baker Street is a made-up address – there was no Holmes site here when I was a kid.

6 comments on “The Mystery Of Sherlock’s Home”

  1. Helen Martin says:

    I always wondered what 221A was and whether 221 was two residences: Holmes’ and Mrs. Hudson’s. The modern Sherlock actually tried addressing that.

  2. admin says:

    As and Bs appear in London streets when the street has already been built and one house is added to, upsetting the odd numbering sequence that the Victorians favoured.

  3. Jenny Spencer says:

    So the Sherlock Holmes Museum was actually owned by a Moriarty figure.

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Ah, so As and Bs in London are like fractions in Quebec City where you can find 1/4, or 3/4 added to an address. Admittedly, the 3/4 I noticed was attached to 3/4 of a door. It was on a steeply sloped street and the lower part was cut away so the door could be square to the inside.

  5. Alan Morgan says:

    Indeed, I grew up in a 12b. The house having been built after the rest of the street when a larger residence was replaced by two smaller houses.

  6. jan says:

    i know i’m a pedantic old tart (Stop agreeing Fowler distance doesn’t make u safe) but i always thought 221b Baker street occupied the ground where the old Abbey National hq was sited. Didn’t the Abbey have an office with a bloke whose job it was to reply to all the letters to Sherls (nd apparently they wrote to him from all over the world.)This guy would say contact ur local old bill, forget about it. get a life etc etc depending on the problem. i always thought that there was the seed of a good story in there. Imagine if this bloke decided to go and solve a case pretending to b SH if he took his annual leave quota and decided to actually BE the gr8 man.
    ok maybe its just me daft idea
    hope all well.

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