A couple of years ago, prompted by a report put out by the FATF, I started including a short session in my AML training on ML through professional football. I figured that it might grab the attention of younger men, who are not generally the most avid attendees of AML training. And it worked to a certain extent, but – apart from the hackneyed example of Chelski and the Russians – it was hard to show current relevance.
And then it all went pear-shaped (rugby ball-shaped?) at FIFA, with Jack Warner being suspected of corruption and then resigning, Bin Hammam being kicked out for paying bribes, and Sepp Blatter demonstrating such righteous indignation that sports journalists around the world were goaded into pointing out that FIFA is essentially his personal fiefdom, making up (and abandoning) the rules as it goes along. Then senior figures in the Greek football world were charged with match fixing, and the owner of Birmingham City Football Club was charged in his native Hong Kong with money laundering. I’m having to maintain a document on my desktop called “The downfall of football” just to keep track of it all.
I’m not claiming that I was particularly prescient – I only mentioned football in the first place because the FATF did. But it does make you wonder what will be the next hot topic… Perhaps something for the girls this time: money laundering through the sale of counterfeit shoes. Oh hang on, that IS a hot topic.