Jose Fernandez Calvo

President, Latedis SA

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Stop helping launderers whose money comes from corruption. Professionals of all trades need to stop hiding behind "plausible deniability".

There seems to be a double standard to fighting money laundering in the "Western World", a very tough stance if related to terrorism or drug trade, but more relaxed implementation of controls if it originates in corrupt political or business practices. And lots of professionals whose conscience allows them to work for the bad guys ...

Witness the Russian oligarchs in London, the francophone-African dictators in Paris, the Latin-american politicians in Miami or the Indonesian corrupt officials lounging in Australia´s Gold Coast.

How could they get away with stealing all those billions?

Forget for a moment about the weak legal systems in their countries of origin. It would not be possible without the help of New York investment bankers, London accountants, Parisian lawyers, Melbourne consultants. Thousands of smart, well educated and well paid professionals that would refuse to work for a Colombian drug lord are happy to help an Argentine politician clean, invest and then manage billions of dollars in ill-gotten gains.

And this is not limited to the private services industry, like the IRS officials in Miami who know the money coming into the US is of dubious origin but cannot be bothered to look deeper, of the French government officials who faun over the African dictators to sell a few more combat aircraft.

Hiding behind "plausible deniability" a very large number of our friends and family are working for the bad guys, helping them do huge damage to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

I propose that we talk to these friends and families of ours, and we tell them:

" You know you are helping a bad person launder money, please don´t pretend otherwise, simply: PLEASE STOP!! "