Peter Lilley, an international fraud investigator and no relation of the Tory MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has written a book called Dirty Dealing: The Untold Truth about Global Money Laundering (Kogan Page, £16.99). Before outlining how best to prevent the crime, he explains the various ways to go about committing it, such as opening an anonymous Austrian Sparbuch - savings book - of which there are estimated to be twenty-six million in existence (Austria, for the record, has a population of just over eight million). It's also possible, apparently, to buy your own bank. If, on the other hand, the whole business of legitimising your hard-earned cash seems like too much trouble, you can always just spend it illegally. You could, for example, sell arms on one side of the world - with luck at a vastly inflated price to people you have little sympathy for - and use the profits to provide paramilitaries on the other side of the world whom you like rather better with free guns. If such behaviour goes against your pacifist sensibilities, you could always use your ill-gotten gains to buy stolen works of art. Should you decide to do so, however, you'd better watch out for Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn.
LRB 19 October 2000 | PDF Download