Kleptocracy Daily: September 6, 2017

KI welcomes Michael Mandelbaum, Minxin Pei, Janine Wedel, Andrew Wedeman, Michael Weiss, Margaret Whitehead, and Ilya Zaslavaskiy to its Advisory Council.

Azerbaijan’s elite reacted angrily to accusations that it laundered $2.9 billion through the UK, blocking OCCRP’s website. The case has increased calls to reform Scottish Limited Partnerships, which the scheme used extensively. (Guardian, Meydan TV, Herald Scotland)

French journalists are being sued for defamation by Azerbaijan after calling it a dictatorship. Meanwhile in Baku, pliable journalists get free apartments as independent ones get thrown in jail. (ABC, WaPo)

“The Trump administration should work on becoming a credible financial threat to [North Korea]. Only then will the United States be in a position to negotiate from a position of strength,” says Sung-Yoon Lee. (NYT)

Foreign witnesses in the 1MDB case are too scared to talk to the FBI, fearing retaliation. Hosting Malaysian PM Najib Razak (who is implicated in the case) at the White House next week is a setback for the rule of law, says Josh Rogin. (Bloomberg, WaPo)

Hawksbill Group will be lobbying on behalf of Nord Stream II against Russia sanctions.

Inside Geneva’s Freeport, where “masterworks sit unseen and untouched in high-security vaults, alongside archaeological treasures, gold bars, diamonds, weapons and rare vintage wines – their owners waiting for them to appreciate in value, or, in less savoury cases, to hide them for a time.” (Aeon)

A quick summary of the recent report by Thomas Piketty, Filip Novokmet, and Gabriel Zucman which found that “The uber wealthy in Russia have as much or moreassets stashed overseas than the rest of the population combined holds in the country itself.” (Axios)

Former Trump aides suggest that Paul Manafort could be charged with money laundering. (Daily Caller)

Is Chinese investment in Africa a form of “economic colonization”? (Forbes)

Malta is imposing stricter anti-money laundering checks on Politically Exposed Persons. (Malta Today)

 

Compiled by Nate Sibley.

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