Providing the Evidence and Analysis for a UK Counter-Kleptocracy Strategy


This project sheds light on the UK’s kleptocracy problem and how the private sector may be regulated and government’s ability to achieve policy goals increased to address the issue.

Most discussions regarding ‘illicit financial flows’ are focused on activity commonly associated with organised crime – drug and people trafficking, credit card fraud and tax evasion. However, there is an increasing awareness of the dangers posed by ‘kleptocratic’ flows – monies derived from autocracies, in effect stolen by politicians and their cronies by diverting state funds into personal accounts.

The ambiguity of these flows and their ‘legalisation’ through control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, makes it harder to prevent them from entering our jurisdictions.

The project uses the disclosure of the Pandora Papers in 2021 as an example of kleptocrats using the international financial system to help steal from their countries coffers. It also looks at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to demonstrate how the Kremlin uses a cabal of oligarchs whose wealth is spread across the world in various organisations.