"Greed becomes an enabler for power; power becomes an enabler for more money."

The practice of money laundering provides cover for those seeking to hide illicit capital from government authorities. Money laundering is typically used by various organized crime groups operating throughout the world, from the Mafia to Yakuza to the innumerable drug cartels. However, the art of cleaning one’s dirty money is not unilateral, as legitimate institutions often take in the money for a fee of significant size. The factors that play into the illicit transfer of wealth usually involve pliable and corrupt officials willing to look the other way and not stop the transaction. Countries such as the United States and Russia are known for highly wealthy citizens who hide their wealth in countries that serve as tax shelters, such as the Cayman Islands. Anti-money laundering laws have been established by several countries yet lack the teeth of other enforcement methods.

The author’s book is an intriguing, full-scale expose of the countries and citizens who choose to hide as much of their wealth as possible. Pretorius provides a wealth of insightful detail regarding the scams and rackets that are pervasive in the often-intersecting underworld and “upper world.” The corruption that Pretorius lays out in each chapter will either prove shocking to the conscience or merely confirm the mindset of some. It is also a problem that is not restricted to those of a particular worldview, and the leaders named in the book can be found on both sides of the political spectrum. Pretorius’ work is significant and eye-opening and will undoubtedly hold wide appeal. Although the practice of money laundering is prevalent, it is a topic that is rarely discussed in detail, making a comprehensive study such as this one invaluable.

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