Wednesday, January 30, 2013


You are a compliance officer vetting a prospective bank customer, or an attorney checking out a factory your client wants to purchase, or a financial services professional examining an investment in a developing country. You need to conduct a Due Diligence investigation. The problem is, in certain countries , the truth is not only hard to find, you may actually encounter disinformation, resulting a disaster for you or your client.

Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters without Borders)* has recently published a paper, which includes a map that colour-codes the countries of the world, showing the amount of press freedom encountered there, or the lack thereof. Frankly, discount the accuracy of much of the media information that you collect, regarding the countries that appear in red or black, for corruption, special interest groups, dictators, utter disregard for the rule of law, and many, many other issues result in the failure to publish accurate information, or even result in disinformation, in government-owned or controlled mass media.
Unless you want to bank a corrupt Politically Exposed Person (PEP) who is stealing his national treasury blind, or purchase a factory for your client that is riddled with pollutants, or desire to have your most favoured customer buy a worthless bond issue, you should seek out competent professionals who can ferret out non-public sources in those countries where truth has taken a holiday. Use experienced investigators, with a global reach, lest you recommend somebody to a client, who turns out to be a nightmare.

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