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A series of podcasts which explain to a non-technical audience how "Dark Money" (e.g. money laundering, corruption, bribery, tax evasion) enters the financial system and infects everything it touches.

A series of podcasts which explain to a non-technical audience how "Dark Money" (e.g. money laundering, corruption, bribery, tax evasion) enters the financial system and infects everything it touches.
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A series of podcasts which explain to a non-technical audience how "Dark Money" (e.g. money laundering, corruption, bribery, tax evasion) enters the financial system and infects everything it touches.








Laundromats and Legal Entities - part three: Scottish Limited Partnerships

The one you've all been waiting for! A detailed explanation of SLPs, their history, construction and how they are used to launder money - plus a further explanation of a Scottish Limited Partnership complex structure to show how they are evolving in the light of continued public exposure.


The good, the bad and the companies - The Global Witness Report

In this special episode we review and comment on the recent Global Witness update to its reports from last year on the effectiveness of the Companies House PSC regime. For more see:Global Witness blog and link Oh, and we also include an amusing update to our previous report on UK Limited Liability Partnerships.


Laundromats and Legal Entities - part two: Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

In an extended episode, we delve into the intricacies of UK LLPs and, using real examples, explain how the rules allow them to be constructed in a such a way as to hide ultimate ownership behind a series of entirely plausible, but geographically diverse entities. And our old friend Ali Moulaye gets a mention (or two...). Due to the complexities of the subject, there are supporting graphics on our website. DISCLAIMER: There is no suggestion by us, explicit or implied, that any of the...


Laundromats and Legal Entities - part one: Limited Companies

We begin our analysis of how legal entities, in locations which have transparent corporate registers can still be used to mask ultimate ownership and control while still providing a veneer of respectability. In this first part we look at Limited Companies and their Directors, Shareholders and Persons with Significant Control, to see how each of these can look plausible but still need further investigation.


Ali Moulaye: The man, the myth and the method

In this first episode of season 2 we discuss Ali Moulaye, the man whose signature is at the base of Companies House account filings for a multiplicity of LLPs identified as being involved in a wide variety of laundromats. And it's quite a story!


Episode 10 - The Whistleblower, the UK and the Russian connections

In a sensational final look at the Danske Bank affair, we analyse the whistleblower report and definitively link it to a UK LLP (along with a few others) a small Russian Bank with Igor Putin (cousin of Vladimir) on the board, the Deutsche Bank mirror trades, Alexander Perepilichnyy, Alexander Litvinenko, Ali Moulaye and a whole lot more.


Episode 9 - Danske Bank: The bond loop and the intermediaries

In 2013 Danske Bank executives started to examine,rather more critically, the lucrative bond sale business in Estonia. We look at the reporting and decision making process at the start of that journey and wonder whether, in hindsight, they might have chosen to have done things differently. We also discus the risks of doing business with unregulated intermediaries (HINT: They are very high!). The ultimate outcome of those initial investigations is really rather surprising.


Special Episode 3 - The Swedbank/Forensic Risk Alliance Report Phase 1

Following the release of Phase 1 of the Forensic Risk Alliance report prepared for Swedbank, we take a detailed look at that it has uncovered and where we'd like Phase 2 to go.


Episode 8 - The Missed Opportunities

We begin to look at all the different occasions, highlighted in the Bruune and Hjejle report, where the management of Danske Bank could (and arguably should) have become aware that they had a significant problem in the Estonia Branch and taken much more assertive action to do something about it. In this episode we look at the years from 2008 to 2010.


Special Episode 2 - The Troika Laundromat

The second of our special episodes looking this time at the OCCRPs newly released data dubbed "The Troika Laundromat". Rather than spend 20 minutes criticising everyone involved we thought we'd spend some time contextualising what it means and then look at how data releases like this can be put to good effect by helping the banks to improve their detection of financial crime in the future.


Episode 7 - The Suspicious Activity Report (Part 2)

In this jaw-dropping episode we look under the bonnet at the situation in Estonia just after Danske had bought Sampo. It highlights conflicting stories between what the Estonian regulator was saying to Danske (and in fact, ordering them to do) and what the bank was saying to the Danish regulator. It also looks in detail at the apparent discrepancies between what they had been ordered to do and what they carried on doing.


Special Episode 1 - The Ousting of Danske and the Arrival of Swedbank

Following an extraordinary week of developments which saw the removal of Danske from Estonia, its voluntary departure from Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, the launching of an investigation of both Danish and Estonian regulators by the European Banking Authority, the prolonging of an argument between the two regulators by the publication of hitherto private correspondence AND the addition of Swedbank to those embroiled in the laundromat, we've recorded a special episode to talk about all these...


Episode 6 - The Suspicious Activity Report (Part 1)

In this episode we begin to look at the report, commissioned by Dankse Bank, which finally brought to light the full extent of what went wrong in Estonia. Part One explains the background to the report, the terms of reference, and the definitions of what constituted "suspicious" both in terms of customers, accounts, transactions and people associated with the bank.


Episode 5 - The Billion Dollar Deal

In this episode we look in some detail at payments made from Danske Estonia to three specific countries - Spain, UK, and Latvia. The outcome will surprise some and intrigue all. It's a more complex episode because that's the way that Dark Money Launderers work and introduces, for the first time, direct references to the Magnitsky affair. It also demonstrates that, if you look carefully enough, all of these payments, entities and schemes are connected.


Episode 4 - The Billion Dollar Hold

In this episode we look at a specific set of transactions within Danske Estonia - those emanating from accounts which are also located there. We do so because, of all the transactions that the bank handled, these are the ones it ought to have known most about as it would have (or should have) held "Know Your Customer" information on them. As we will see, it didn't appear to have helped them spot highly suspicious connections between supposedly unconnected accounts.


Episode 3 - The Billion Dollar Shuffle

If you really want to understand why this was such a noteworthy failure of financial crime controls, this is the episode you really must listen to. We take the audience through the many different elements that constitute "suspicious activity" and then explain those elements that are observed within the bank statements from Danske. If you’d like more information you can always visit


Episode 2 - The Launching of a Laundromat

Episode 2 brings a detailed explanation of the acquisition by Danske Bank of, amongst other things, the branch in Estonia which was the centre of the money laundering operation. It provides details and context as to the surrounding elements, all of which help to understand why it has been such a headline grabbing debacle. If you’d like more information you can always visit


Episode 1 - The Background

This is the first in a series of podcasts which explain in a non-technical way how "Dark Money" (e.g. money laundering, corruption, bribery, tax evasion) enters the financial system and infects everything it touches. It explains what Dark Money is, why it matters and takes an early look at some of the challenges facing the banks and other financial institutions. It also gives a flavour for some of the episodes still to come. If you’d like more detail you can always visit...