There was a little bit of good news this month for those
worried about a tidal wave of McMafia-style financial crime. A new UK
government agency tasked with fighting it – the National
Economic Crime Centre (NECC) – opened its doors.
I say “little” because financial crime is far more deeply
rooted in our financial and political systems than we like to acknowledge.
From the LIBOR-rigging scandal
to the offshore secrets of the Panama Papers
money’ in the Brexit vote, it is everywhere. In my recent work with
anti-corruption group Global Witness, I saw
first-hand how ordinary people in some of the world’s poorest countries suffer
the consequences of corruption and financial crime. We exposed
suspicious mining and oil deals in Central Africa, in which over a
billion dollars of desperately-needed