I was having a pedicure at the weekend – so yes, I do occasionally leave my desk and money laundering behind – and the foot-lady (pedicurist? peditherapist?) asked about my work. I explained in simple terms about criminal money, and she said that she had heard all about it on the telly programme “Fake Britain”, which apparently claimed that something like a half of all pound coins are counterfeit. I talked a little more about the proceeds of crime, and how crimes and proceeds are often linked – so that the profits from one crime will fund another. And she was fascinated, bless her little heart.
I’ve often thought that people seem not to care about financial crime only because they do not understand it – they think it’s all clever accounting and high-level maths in fancy banks, when in fact it’s impacting on their lives every day. I mentioned fake designer goods, and she went pale: “My mum’s going to Dubai next week,” she said, “And she promised to get me a fake Chanel handbag. I’m going to tell her not to – I don’t want to give money to people like that!” A small victory, but a pleasant one. Onwards and upwards – next time I’ll get my knees buffed.