Dirty Money Is an Ongoing Threat on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Dirty Money Is an Ongoing Threat on Both Sides of the Atlantic
Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray holds up a sign showing Vladimir Putin’s face outside Parliament in London, July 21, 2020 (AP photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth).

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Neil Bhatiya is filling in for Kimberly Ann Elliott, who will return next week.

Two developments last week, in the United Kingdom and the United States, highlighted how their common adversaries are still exploiting the global financial system, using long-known loopholes to raise and move illicit money in order to undermine international security and the rule of law. While American and British authorities have often been slow to realize the full magnitude of this threat, their recent actions suggest they may finally be taking it more seriously.

First, the British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee released its long-awaited report on Russia’s political interference in the U.K. While it addresses the entirety of the Russian campaign to meddle in British politics, including the alleged use of chemical weapons on British soil by Russian military intelligence, the report devotes significant attention to the role of Russian money inside the country. The prevalence of all that money and how it was spent in places like London may have led to an underappreciation of the threat from Russian interference.

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