Kleptocracy Weekly: September 29, 2017

Anonymous companies: Charles Davidson, Executive Director of the Kleptocracy Initiative, will testify at the Helsinki Commission on October 3rd  about the links between beneficial ownership secrecy in fueling globalized corruption.

Russia probe: KI Advisory Council members Ilya Zaslavskiy and Louise Shelley were quoted in this look at how Robert Mueller is following the money from Russia to U.S. political funds. (ABC)

Private intelligence: Tom Burgis profiles an overlooked class of “enablers” in his year-long investigation into the battle over billionaire Mukhtar Ablyazov: “Many firms have amassed expertise and tradecraft once monopolised by state agencies and put it at the service of tyrants, oligarchs and anyone else willing to pay.” (FT)

China: “China’s attempts to acquire political influence abroad are widespread and pervasive. They are part of a global strategy,” writes Anne-Marie Brady, author of a new report on the topic. (Interpreter)

Australia began returning allegedly stolen cash to China under a joint working group established by the countries to repatriate financial fugitives. (Reuters, The Australian)

Peter Guy explains in detail how exorbitant sums are moved offshore: “When confronted with the river of capital from a growing China, fund managers have to lose their innocence and accept that they are being used as a money laundering platform.” (SCMP)

The FBI is investigating increasingly severe cyberattacks against a billionaire Chinese whistleblower, following a sophisticated hack against his former law firm. (Free Beacon)

Russia: The corruption trial of a former oil boss is exposing power struggles within the Kremlin, writes James Marson. (WSJ)

Telia: The nordic telecoms firm will pay $965 million to resolve bribery allegations involving Gulnara Karimova. (OCCRP)

Ukraine: Embargoed military hardware is being “laundered” through an illicit network before being sold in Africa and the Middle East. (OCCRP)

Saudia Arabia: Did the Kingdom pay a PR firm $1 million for 55 tweets – and if not, what else were they doing? (IBT)

Angola: President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has stepped down as president after 38 years – but don’t expect him to give up political control (or the illicit enrichment of his family) anytime soon. (LA Times)

Compliance costs: U.S. and EU anti-money laundering fines against financial institutions could top $400 billion by 2020, according to a new report. (Reuters)

Compiled by Nate Sibley.

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