The Laundry Man by Kenneth Rijock ( Penguin/Random House UK)

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and given to three of the world's major newspapers, indicate that both the United States and the United Kingdom are engaged in communications surveillance upon approximately one thousand individuals, including a number of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). We are not just talking about the foreign government officials, and leaders of international organizations, but PEPs in the broader definition of the term: family members and close associates of the PEPs themselves.

Given that US law enforcement agencies, as well as intelligence services, now routinely receive access to NSA-acquired data, you should understand that the chances that a PEP who is engaged in criminal activity will come to the attention of law enforcement, have increased. If you are unwittingly banking this PEP, and were deceived into believing that he or she is a private businessmen, you will be seriously embarrassed when an agent comes knocking on the door of your bank with a subpoena.

I cannot stress strongly enough that a smart PEP will construct a credible profile for his family member, and send him or her into your bank, posing as a private businessman or woman. It is your job to rule them out as a PEP before you accept what they are promising is new and lucrative business:

(1)Have you verified their employment ?

 (2) Have you ruled out the possibility that they are from a government-controlled corporation, or shell company?

(3) have you performed an image search, and failed to find a photo of them standing next to government figures, in a social or business setting ?

(4) Do they appear to have the level of education and experience you would expect for a senior leader of a private company ?

(5) Are there persons in government, in their country, with the same middle or last name ?

Do not let a hidden PEP open an account with you, please. You will regret it later.

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