Gamekeeper turned poacher
12 Oct 2017

Susan has been making her living from crime for over twenty years. She provides anti-money laundering training and advice to the regulated community in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, and writes and talks on the subject at every opportunity. As her hobby she writes historical novels—about financial crime.

Last week my husband and I were on one of those long car journeys when you discuss all sorts of crazy things just to keep the boredom at bay.

We were talking about careers and whether we would choose the same ones again, and he asked me, “Do you think you would make a good money launderer?”. Resisting the temptation to answer, “Only if you buy the wool”, I had a think about it.

I’m certainly good at the theory of money laundering – I doubt even professional launderers read as widely as I do about money laundering trends and techniques.

I know which institutions and jurisdictions take AML seriously, and which pay it lip service only, and which couldn’t care less.

And I might well escape detection for a while, as the idea of the woman who has vented her AML spleen in a blog called “ihatemoneylaundering” for six years turning into a launderer (or perhaps continuing all of that AML stuff as a fiendish disguise…) might not even occur to investigators.

But we came to the conclusion that I would betray myself. I do not have a poker face, and am only a fair to middling liar.

The real giveaway, however, would probably be my inability to hold back from chastising (for which, read “throttling”) the people who would help me with my laundering. The incompetent and the ignorant, I might just about tolerate.

But the complicit and the cunning, the scheming and the slippery – well, I’d just have to run them through with their own Montblanc fountain pens.

This piece first appeared on Susan’s blog, I hate money laundering.

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