- Kleptocrats and oligarchs worldwide rely on enablers to move illicit financial flows (IFFs), hide, invest and spend their illicitly acquired wealth.
- ‘Enablers’ are those people and professions who make those illicit financial flows possible.
- Enablers include lawyers, accountants, bankers, real estate agents and others – and the firms they represent.
- Enablers support kleptocrats in IFFs schemes in four ways: initiation of schemes, hiding and laundering money, utilisation of funds, and whitewashing reputations.
- We discuss case studies from around the world highlighting how each step of the enabling process plays out in reality.
- Many enablers are based in countries that also provide large amounts of official development assistance.
- Using the US, UK and Switzerland as examples, we look at the ways in which OECD countries tolerate an environment in which enablers and IFFs continue.
- It is vital that these countries take action against enablers to prevent their work being undermined.
- We make more than 20 recommendations for donor countries to help improve legislation, accountability and enforcement around IFFs.