If you can see what I can see, when I’m…

We all know that everyone loves stories, case studies and real life dramas in training.  Likewise, we all know that the big ones – Abacha, HSBC, Madoff – are good for several slides, lots of detail and some amusing photos.  But this sometimes means that we overlook the smaller stories, the simple tales of everyday launderers working in our own communities – and that’s a shame because it is often these stories that resonate most with your staff, because they feature people just like their friends and neighbours.

Take this one, for instance – a headline story in the Bradford Telegraph & Argus earlier this week (what do you mean, you let your subscription lapse?).  Peter Rawson, a self-employed window-cleaner, has been sent to prison for three years for exhibiting what the judge described as “classic money laundering behaviour” – over five years, £198,000 was paid into Rawson’s bank account, but only some of it could be linked to his window-cleaning business.  The rest, the judge decided, “was probably proceeds of your own criminality, whether it was tax evasion or something more sinister, but some of it must have belonged to other people”.  Some of the money, we learn, was transferred to Thailand and brought back in carrier bags.  Now this, I submit, has all the hallmarks of an excellent training case.  It raises lots of due diligence questions: did his bank ask how Rawson was making so much money, and did they check why he was making transfers to Thailand?  It is a simple story to follow, with all elements easy to understand: we can all picture window-cleaners, carrier bags of money, trips to Thailand and stashes of drugs.  And it allows you to use your full range of George Formby jokes.  So when you’re looking for memorable examples for your training, don’t overlook the local; after all, you’d be surprised at things they do… (you see – I got another one in there right at the end).

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