Some of you may have heard of Mary Beard: she’s a Classics professor here in Cambridge, presents telly programmes on subjects such as Pompeii and ancient Rome, and has a blog in the Times called “A Don’s Life”. I sometimes go to open lectures she gives locally, with my passing interest in ancient history, and frankly I like her style and enthusiasm. And in one of those bizarre cross-overs that occasionally happen, I looked at her blog this morning to find that she is writing about money laundering.
Sadly, it is not an exposé of laundering techniques in the ancient world, but an all-too-familiar lament about (what we AML folk recognise as a misapplication of) the money laundering requirements. In short, her husband couldn’t do the transaction he wanted at the post office because of money laundering. Nonsense, and very disappointing that a large institution such as the Post Office should get it wrong. Mind you (and I’m not kidding here), I know the sub post office she means, and this is the same branch that recently refused to accept from me a parcel bound for Guernsey on the basis that “that’s not a real place”. News to many of you, I am sure.