Fun and games

Some years ago, I designed a money laundering simulation game called WhiteWash.  It was a card-based game for use in training sessions.  In essence, I divided people into groups, gave them a set of cards (featuring jurisdictions, institutions and people) and a theoretical million pounds, and pitted them against each other to assemble the most successful money laundering scheme (i.e. the one in which they spent the least and retained the most).  In the innocent days before Angry Birds and Grand Theft Auto, it was well-received and, frankly, a lot of fun both to play and to oversee.  I took it to a leading bank, to see if they were interested in sponsoring its conversion into a commercial game, and I contacted various games companies myself, but no dice (or counters or cards, for that matter).  With the great help of a chap in Guernsey with a technical compliance background I managed to put it online, but not many places subscribed – apparently the fun comes from working in a group, not alone at your desk.

So I was very interested when someone on Twitter directed me to the Keno Laundromat.  This seems to take a similar idea of giving people a set of components to organise into a laundering scheme.  The components are randomly generated by the computer of the Criminal Genius (the person behind the thing) and he then has fifteen minutes to research them and assemble them into a laundering set-up, which he shares with his readers.  And you can play along too: discipline yourself just to read the components, then set your stopwatch and off you go.  You can then read his scheme and see how it compares to yours.  He says it’s going to be a weekly feature, but there’s been nothing since the end of January, so maybe he’s lost interest (or perhaps stumbled on a scheme that pays much, much more than being a Criminal Genius).  But it’s quite a good fun idea, and something that the MLRO could replicate as a little quiz feature in a newsletter.  (And in case you’re now Outraged of Milton Keynes, remember that the whole point is to put yourself in the shoes of a criminal, with a view to understanding his tricksy thought processes, so that you can be better at spotting him in the future.)

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