When I first started providing AML training, back in the days when dancing and cookery programmes on the telly featured professionals rather than celebrities who fancied a go at our expense, it was quite hard to find real-life examples. All the theory was there, and you knew that it happened a lot, but when people asked for genuine case studies, my heart sank. The investigative authorities wouldn’t publish anything more than the barest and most anonymised bones, and the newspapers just didn’t find it sexy enough.
Fast forward to 2011, and whoa Nellie! You can’t open a newspaper these days without tripping over at least two money laundering stories. And they are absolute gold dust for training because they are often so mad and so ordinary at one and the same time. Take this one, for instance: Aussie criminals caught in a flat full of cocaine and cash – and the washing machine and bath are both full of notes being washed. Why? Who knows. And then here we read that the Spanish police have arrested a gang smuggling cocaine by forming it into Manolo Blahnik shoes that their couriers then wear from Colombia to Spain – genius! Criminals are so inventive, and journalists are so fascinated by financial crime: it’s the golden age for AML training. So print like you’ve never printed before, and fill those folders with real-life stories just waiting to be turned into case studies.