So said Publilius Syrus, a writer of maxims in the first century BC. And recently it seems that the two concepts have become even more closely linked, as I have noticed a flurry of cases where political and commercial rivals have accused each other of money laundering in order to score moral points. Of course I dream of the day when money laundering is considered so shameful that no-one will dare indulge, but I never imagined that these influential people would take up the cause for me.
The latest recruit is President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia, whom many suspect of being behind the recent accusations of money laundering made against local billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili – you can read the details on the news page of my website. It seems that the billionaire has thrown his hat into the political ring, and so the politician has called him a money launderer. The sons of deposed President Mubarak of Egypt have been accused of hiding looted assets in their Swiss bank accounts – indeed, it was these suspicions that led in part to the uprising of the population earlier this year. And the battle of the Russian oligarchs in the London courts – Boris “The Bruiser” Berezovsky vs Roman “The Goal-hanger” Abramovich – has been peppered with outraged accusations of money laundering on both sides.
Frankly, it’s a win all round for the AML cause. If involvement in money laundering is seen as shameful and grubby, marvellous. And if the accusations lead to investigations and extra years on any sentences, so much the better.