Showing posts from April, 2016

How the Seychelles saved Syria

Against the backdrop of recent territorial gains, the cessation of hostilities and a peace process in Geneva that is rumbling along, President Bashar al-Assad seems more secure than ever after five years of conflict in Syria.
When people ask how he managed to stay in power despite the country having its economy collapse in half, hundreds of thousands killed, one in two Syrians being forced from their homes and the conflict dragging in four of the five UN P5 members of the Security Council, you wouldn't necessarily think about the Seychelles.
Yet as the Panama Papers, the biggest leak in global history, has shown, the idyllic archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa has played its part in keeping Assad in the Presidential Palace in Damascus.

What this demonstrates is that what appears from a distance to be an insular, authoritarian regime far more proficient in the tools of medieval warfare than modern capitalism, has actually used the levers of…

The Beginning of the End of Evil in the World?

Just two weeks ago, following the terror attacks on Brussels, the Daily Observer published an editorial titled "Terrorism May Be Too Lucrative to End".

In that editorial, we argued that ending terrorism was as easy as following and drying up the money; but that because there is a whole value chain involved where too many power players would have too much to lose, the political will has been missing in action.

We quoted the late Harry Greaves, who in his Let's Lecture series explained that the U.S. Government is able to closely monitor the financial dealings of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and their associates.
"Many officials in government are of the mistaken notion that if they steal public money and salt it away in a bank outside of the country, they are home free. Not quite...," Greaves wrote.
"...if you transfer money through the international financial system, you create a paper trail.
"Every US dollar transaction, no matte…