Case Studies

Case studies with infographics designed to educate and empower, released monthly

19 Dec 2017
Published in Case Study

Mirror trading

At the end of January the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority announced its largest ever penalty for anti-money laundering failures. It fined Deutsche Bank £163 million ($204 million) for lacking ‘an adequate AML control framework’ between 2012 and 2015. US regulators levied an additional $425 million against the bank for the same issue.

Specifically, Deutsche is alleged to have facilitated $10 billion in Russian ‘mirror-trades’ which could have been used to launder money and evade Russian capital controls.

11 Dec 2017
Published in Case Study


Hawala (Arabic for ‘transfer’ or ‘trust’), is an informal system of money transfer that predates the modern banking system by many centuries. It is defined by the Financial Action Task Force as an ‘alternative remittance system’ for transferring money from one location to another outside banking channels. Dating back to 8th Century Silk Road traders, or perhaps even earlier, it has had a significant influence on the development of modern financial systems, particularly on the legal principle of the ‘agent’.

29 Mar 2017
Published in Case Study

The Russian ‘Laundromat’

The ‘Russian Laundromat’ (a term coined by the team of journalists at the OCCRP who uncovered it) was a complicated scheme, run between 2010 and 2014, to launder up to $80 billion out of Russia. It was based on fictitious debts between companies in the jurisdictions to which criminals and corrupt Russian officials wanted to send their money. The debts between these companies were authenticated by Moldovan judges, such that all transfers were backed by a European court order and appeared exceptionally ‘clean’.