Kleptocracy Daily: June 26, 2017

July 18: KI and the Partnership for Transparency’s Anti-Corruption Forum will host a discussion on U.S. government approaches to kleptocracy and money laundering, including investigations, prosecutions, compliance, and possible legislation. More information and registration here.

News

Jack Abramoff, who was sentenced to prison in 2008 on federal corruption and other charges, recently filed a retroactive foreign agent lobbying registration for unpaid — and unsuccessful — work aimed at helping the Republic of Congo arrange a meeting with Trump, new DOJ filings show.

The Financial Action Task Force, an international anti-money-laundering standards body, said it would extend the suspension of some of its restrictions against Iran.

The EU’s 4th Money Laundering Directive, which come into force today, are aiming to make it harder for terrorists and criminals to move money through the UK’s financial system.

French authorities charged the daughter and son-in-law of Congo’s President with “money laundering and misuse of public funds,” as part of a larger investigation into the assets of three African presidential families.

A Russian official has been linked to a South Florida biker club that spent millions on Trump condos.

As the United States grapples with the implications of Kremlin interference in American politics, European countries are deploying a variety of bold tactics and tools to expose Russian attempts to sway voters and weaken European unity.

Features

A new research report from Transparency International-UK and Bellingcat, Offshore in the UK, provides new insights into how money launderers are abusing Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) – the UK’s own home-grown secrecy vehicle – to move billions of pounds of corrupt wealth around the world.

You’re a foreign government and want to get the U.S. government’s ear. What to do?

There is simply too much Gulf money sloshing around in Washington. The Qataris have invested untold millions in think tanks and universities, not to mention lobbyists. Saudi Arabia…and others are also major players in this game. The end result is that those who feed from this trough are unable to engage in an honest conversation about the policies and behaviors of their benefactors — even when they fly in the face of U.S. interests.”
-How the Gulf spat shines a bright light on Washington’s permissive approach to the Gulf, The Hill

How the Kremlin is taking steps to make corruption top-secret–and why.