Two weeks ago I posted Ferreting Out Kleptocrats’ Buddies: The Ukrainian Solution which described a list of Ukrainian public officials, their relatives, and close associates that a Ukrainian NGO had compiled. Banks and other financial institutions are required by national antimoney laundering laws to ask these individuals, “politically exposed persons” in antimoney laundering lingo, how they came by their money before doing business with them. The idea is to keep money obtained through corrupt and other criminal means from polluting the financial system. The hope is that such controls will either discourage PEPs from stealing from the public or, if not, open up one more way to catch those who have.
As Ferreting Out explained, currently the institutions subject to the antimoney laundering laws rely on PEP lists sold by large international companies, lists that often omit many names that should be on them. Despite antimoney laundering laws in place around the globe, Ukrainian PEPs are spiriting money out of the country and into foreign financial institutions, real estate, and other investments at an alarming rate. To help staunch the flow, the Ukrainian Anticorruption Action Center developed and published its own list of Ukrainian PEPs. The list draws on many local sources and was compiled to complement the ones peddled by commercial vendors.
Center staff presented their work last weekend at the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings. A summary of their presentation with a link to the database follows. Continue reading